US bans Communists from seeking US citizenship

Logo of the US Citizen and Immigration Services

The United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) has declared a new policy making members of any communist party, or affiliate parties, unable to seek citizenship.

In a new volume of the Policy Manual issued on October 2, 2020 – released at a moment when the world’s media outlets were distracted by President Donald Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis – USCIS stated: “US citizenship and immigration services is issuing policy guidance in the USCI policy manual to address inadmissibility based on membership in or affiliation with the Communist or any totalitarian party… Any immigrant who is or has been a member of or affiliated with the Communist or any totalitarian party or subdivision or affiliated, domestic or foreign, is inadmissible to the United States.”

The term “totalitarian party” is not strictly defined by the new legislation, which “… supersedes any relaxed prior guidance on the topic.”

The policy comes, according to the USCIS, as part of a “…broader set of laws passed by Congress to address threat to the safety and security of the United States” and “…only applies to any in seeking immigration status such as aliens inside the United States.”

The new guidelines hark back to the Communist Control Act of 1954, an act which was challenged in 1961, when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the McCarthy-era Act did not bar the Communist Party from participating in New York’s unemployment insurance system and again in 1973, when a federal district court in Arizona decided that the Act was unconstitutional and that Arizona could not keep the Communist Party off the ballot in the 1972 general election. 

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