The ambiguities of dual citizenship

You may have read that the recent Executive Order also applied to those who hold dual citizenship in any of the specified nations.  I haven’t yet seen it fully explained how pernicious this is.  A lot of countries don’t easily let you renounce their citizenship, they may still claim you, or at the very least they will not issue documentation confirming you are not a dual citizen, no matter what the fact of the matter may be.  Very often there is no “fact of the matter” as to who is a dual citizen.  Say you were born in Iran, and your parents brought you to the United States or Canada at age two.  Let’s say the Trump administration then asks you to prove you are not a dual citizen of Iran.  How are you supposed to do this?  Leave the country and try to get confirmation in Iran itself, noting you might have to prove you have not broken any laws and have paid all back taxes and fees?  Who knows?

How do you like these apples?:

Based on Article 41 of the constitution, Iran does not recognize dual citizenship, and if an individual acquires the citizenship of another country, his or her Iranian nationality will be revoked. This, however, requires certain legal procedures that if not pursued will result in the individual’s foreign citizenship not being officially recognized.

By applying a dual citizenship provision, in effect we are making Iranian law American law.  It is Iran who determines who is banned, not Trump.  You even could imagine a foreign government using this to punish or blackmail people who have scant current connection to their nation.  What should I do if Yemen offers me honorary national citizenship, in return for the service of promoting their cuisine and restaurants in the fine state of Virginia?  Can I turn it down?  Prove I don’t really hold it?  What exactly is to count as such proof?


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