Where would a Native American have to go if he/she renounce their U.S. citizenship?

If a Native American wanted to give up their U.S. citizenship could they stay in the U.S. or would they be kicked out?

7 Answers

  • Nex
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well the John Jay treaty prohibits US from denying admission to any person of at least 50% native American blood (American Indians, and Canadian first nation members).

    In order to renounce US citizenship however you must be outside of US, most likely in a country that will allow you to stay for the time being. Generally consular officers will not allow a US citizen to renounce their citizenship if they have no other country they can stay in (either as citizens or permanent residents).

    However if you were to renounce your citizenship, and are able to prove that you fall under the John Jay treaty you could be back in US the same day and get permanent residency.

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  • Thomas
    Lv 6
    7 years ago

    No, I don't think they would be "kicked out" of their tribal lands, but it would all be totally unusual and mostly a theoretical question.

    Native Americans couldn't really completely renounce their US citizenship unless they went through the formal renunciation process and did this outside of the US. Then, they'd be faced with the scenario where they'd have to get back to their tribal lands somehow and then never leave those areas (or, when off rez, be treated like an alien or immigrant in the US).

    The question is why would someone go through all of this trouble? US citizenship for tribal members is automatic these days. It would be quite an ordeal to shed this political status, just to have Tribal Citizenship and no US citizenship.

    The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 extended US citizenship to tribal members and changed the structure under which Indians had previously been living, where either you were a non US citizen/tribal citizen living on Tribal lands or you had to give up your tribal citizenship in order to gain US citizenship. You couldn't be a tribal citizen and a US citizen, in other words. So, federal legislation changed that.

    Additionally, Indian Nations are formally recognized as "sovereign domestic nations" and tribal lands are under federal trust status within the boundary of the United States. So, with this political status and 1924 Citizenship Act in full effect, you could only symbolically renounce your citizenship and never leave the reservation but it wouldn't mean much politically. Your US citizenship would still be intact if you had acquired it previously (e.g. at birth and you got a social security number and all that jazz). There have been some Native activists that have stated they were "renouncing" their US citizenship, but this act was certainly not formalized.

    The US uses two methods to establish citizenship: jus sanguinis and jus solis. These are just two fancy latin words that mean that citizenship is passed on to the children of citizens no matter where they are born (jus sanguinis) and all children born to non-US citizens within the borders of the US (jus solis).

    Even on reservations, when a baby is born they will get a state certified birth certificate and they are technically still within US territory.

    But, here is the interesting thing. I know of a few cases of foreign born enrolled tribal members that are not US citizens. This is when a Native American individual goes overseas and has a child with a foreign national...and the child is raised in the other country and never applied for US citizenship. But, the child or the descendants were able to enroll with the tribe later in life. They just had to establish their lineage through FOREIGN birth records and/or paternity testing and then apply for enrollment with the tribe. This did not confer US citizenship, just tribal citizenship. How interesting is that??

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  • Adam S
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Technically most Native Americans are members of separate nations, or Tribes, already. A Native American is a member of their Nation first and the US second.

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  • 7 years ago

    US citizenship can only be renounced at the US embassy or consulate of the person's OTHER country of citizenship. So, for starters, the US citizen would have to hold another citizenship, then have to travel to their country of citizenship, then submit an IRS form of tax compliance, and renounce their US citizenship there.

    After having told the US government that they don't care about the United States of America, they would not be allowed to set foot on US soil again afterward.


    Formally it's true what Nex stated, but the "native American" would not even be able to board and airplane without a valid passport and a valid US visa in it -- which they would not get. They could then transfer $100,000 into a US attorney's account to sue the US government in the United States while living abroad, and a few years later, the money will be gone and they can transfer another $100,000 to keep going. Good luck with that.


    Red man must understand that he cannot win fight with white man. Too late for that. Big spirit not gonna help with that.

    Source(s): An immigrant from Europe, I live in the charming old mission town San Buenaventura and work as an attorney in Santa Barbara, California.
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  • Salish
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    That is an excellent question, I will have to ask around my tribe and find out for you ;)

    I have a feeling the only tribes that can officially pull this off are the ones that issue their own passports.

    Source(s): Suquamish
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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    you cannot renouce unless you have another citizenship already in place

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  • Jamie
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    i would try to ask a liberal

    they could help you

    they do not like this country..

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