PETITION TO REPEAL TITLE 4, CHAPTER 22 OF THE 1973
ALIEN AND NATIONALITY LAW OF THE REPUBLIC OF
LIBERIA, AS AMENDED IN 1974
WE, the citizens of the Republic of Liberia, residing within the territorial confines of the Republic of Liberia and in the Diaspora organized under the banner of “The All Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship” realizing that Liberia has experienced social and political upheavals from the 1980 military intervention to 14 years of civil war which forced hundreds of thousands of Liberians to flee their country and become refugees, citizens or immigrants in foreign lands in Africa, North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia; and
WHEREAS, there are approximately more than 500,000 Liberians residing outside the Republic of Liberia in foreign lands; and
WHEREAS, the overwhelming majority of Liberians who re-settled abroad as a result of intractable conflicts both the 1980 military and 14 years of civil war in the Republic of Liberia creating new family by birth, changed their citizenship or nationality as per Chapter IV Article 28 of the constitution but have also expressed their commitment to maintaining their Liberian citizenship; and
WHEREAS, Chapter 22 of the 1973 Alien and Nationality Law of the Republic of Liberia, as amended in 1974 , does not allow for Liberians to retain their citizenship upon becoming citizens by birth, naturalization or other means of foreign lands; and
WHERREAS, the turbulent social and political changes from 1980 to 2004 which forced hundreds of thousands of Liberians to become citizens, refugees and immigrants in foreign lands were not envisioned by the architects of the 1973 Alien and Nationality Law and Constitution; and
WHEREAS, due to the 1973 Alien and Nationality Law, Liberians that naturalize abroad are not only stripped of their Liberian citizenship but are also precluded from owning land or other real estate in their native homeland as stated in Chapter III Article 22 (a) of the 1986 constitution of Liberia; and
WHEREAS, the 1973 Alien and Nationality Law is in violation of Articles 11 (c), 20 (a) and 95 (a) of the National Constitution in that it discriminates on the basis of gender, automatically imposes loss of citizenship without the institution of any proceedings by the government which is contrary to the due process, and is inconsistent with the 1986 National Constitution; and
WHEREAS, Chapter 22 of the 1973 Alien and Nationality Law, contravenes Article 27(a) of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia which states that “All persons who, on the coming into force of this Constitution were lawfully citizens of Liberia shall continue to be Liberian citizens”; and
WHEREAS, Chapter 22 of the 1973 Alien and Nationality Law is unjust and violates fundamental rights, including the right to citizenship, as enshrined in various international treaties to which Liberia is signatory;
WHEREAS, Section 20.1(b) of the 1973 Alien and Nationality Law unconstitutionally discriminates against Liberian mothers in that it does not recognize children born outside Liberia to Liberian mothers as Liberian citizens but recognizes children born outside Liberia to Liberian fathers as Liberian citizens; and
WHEREAS, Section 21.30 of the 1973 Alien and Nationality Law further unconstitutionally discriminates against Liberian women by providing a pathway to citizenship for foreign spouses of Liberian men without providing a similar pathway to citizenship for foreign spouses of Liberian women; and
WHEREASAS, restoring citizenship for Diaspora Liberians offers advantages of broadening our country’s economic base, foster trade and investment, and provides opportunities for Liberians in their host countries to influence economic and development decisions in favor of Liberia; and
WHEREAS, the attainment of citizenship in foreign lands has enabled many Liberian immigrants to secure employment and gain wealth, knowledge and thereby remit over 1 billion U.S. dollars to suffering family members during the civil war, and to continue to transfer tens of millions of dollars each year back to Liberia to support family members and stimulate the battered Liberian economy, share their expertise in health, educational, business, sports institutions; and
WHERREAS allowing such Liberians to retain their Liberian citizenship will maximize opportunities for Liberians living outside Liberia to obtain the necessary resources (education, knowledge, skills and wealth) to help develop a working middle class for Liberia that can serve as an engine for the reconstruction of the motherland;
NOW THEREFORE, we hereby call on the Liberian National Legislature to repeal the 1973 Alien and Nationality Law to allow for the retention of Liberian citizenship by Liberians who naturalized in a foreign state, take an oath or make an affirmation of allegiance to a foreign state, vote to elect the sovereign of a foreign state, enter or serve in the armed forces of a foreign state or marry a citizen of a foreign state or born in foreign lands to the union of a Liberian parent.
WE FURTHER CALL on the National Legislature to repeal without Chapter 22 of the 1973 Alien and Nationality Law regarding loss of citizenship for Liberians. WE ALSO CALL on the Liberian National Legislature to repeal the 1973 Alien and Nationality Law to provide for children born outside Liberia to Liberian mothers to become citizens of Liberia, enjoying the same rights currently reserved for children born outside Liberia to Liberian fathers, and to allow for children born to at least one citizen parent to automatically retain his/her citizenship without taking an oath of allegiance before or after attaining his/her majority;
A PROPOSED ACT TO REPEAL TITLE 4, CHAPTER 22 OF THE 1973 ALIEN AND NATIONALITY LAW AS AMENDED IN 1974;
An Act to Repeal Title 4, Chapter 22, of the 1973 Alien and Nationality Law of The Republic of Liberia as amended in 1974 and to Restore Liberian Citizenship
It is enacted by the Senate and House of Representative of the Republic of Liberia in Legislature Assembled:
Chapter 1: Repeal of Chapter 22 of the Alien and Nationality Law of 1973 (with amendments approved 1974)
Section 1.1 Chapter 22, of the 1973 Alien and Nationality Law, of the Liberian Code of Laws Revised, is hereby repealed.
Chapter 2: Restoration of Citizenship
Section 2.1 From and after the effective date of this Act, a person who was a citizen of Liberia whether by birth or naturalization, who lost his or her Liberian citizenship under Chapter 22, of the 1973 Alien and nationality Law, of the Liberian Code of Laws Revised is hereby restored to Liberian citizenship with all the rights, immunities, duties and obligations of Liberian citizenship unless otherwise limited or prohibited under this Act.
Section 2.2 A person whose citizenship is restored under this Act, who elects to retain the Citizenship or nationality of another country shall not hold certain public offices of the Republic of Liberia.
Section 2.3 No rights, immunities, duties and obligations of Liberian citizenships restored under this Act shall be limited or prohibited unless specifically limited or prohibited under this Act.
Chapter 3: Prohibition to hold Certain Public Offices of the Republic of Liberia
Section 3.1 A person who holds citizenship or nationality of another country in addition to his/her citizenship of Liberia shall not be eligible to: (a) hold the office of President or Vice President; (b) be a member of the Senate or House of Representatives.
Section 3.2 A person who is prohibited from holding office(s) under Section 3.1 of this Act shall automatically have his/her rights restored to hold said offices immediately upon renunciation of other citizenship(s) or nationalities.
Chapter 4: Subjection to the Laws of the Republic
Section 4.1: A person whose citizenship is restored under this Act is subject to all laws, including criminal laws of the Republic of Liberia, and to all treaties of extradition or repatriation to which the Republic of Liberia is a signatory and to all such other international laws and international conventions to which the Republic of Liberia is an adherent party.
Section 4.2 A person who holds citizenship or nationality of another country in addition to his/her citizenship of Liberia must use a Liberian passport to enter or leave Liberia.
Section 5: Effective Date of Repeal and Restoration of Citizenship
Section 5:1 This act shall take effect immediately upon publication in handbills Sincerely yours,
Signed: ULAA Eminent Emmanuel S. Wettee Chairman, The All Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship