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PETITION TO REPEAL TITLE 4, CHAPTER 22 OF THE 1973 ALIEN AND NATIONALITY LAW OF THE Republic of Liberia

Emmanuel S. Wettee

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

Approved:

Gaye D. Sleh,Jr
National President, ULAA
John Nimly  Brownell

National P resident, EFLA

Francis William
National President,  COLOSUS

John F. Lloyd
National Chairman  CCL

Julia Mardea Richards

President ULAG

Bobby Whitfield
President , FOLICA

Contact Emmanuel S. Wettee at 614 683 8192 or
wetteee9@yahoo.com

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