The father of Hoda Muthana, the Alabama woman who traveled to Syria to join ISIS in 2014, has filed suit against a number of Trump administration officials over their refusal to allow her to return to the U.S.
Attorneys for the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America filed suit Friday in federal court in Washington, D.C. against President Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Attorney General William Barr, challenging the officials’ determination that Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and, as such, should not be allowed to re-enter the U.S.
The question of Muthana’s citizenship centers on whether her father was serving as a Yemeni diplomat when she was born in New Jersey in 1994. Her attorneys claim her father was discharged from his diplomatic post nearly two months before she was born, and that she is thus entitled to birthright citizenship under the 14th Amendment.
Muthana has an 18-month-old son fathered by one of the three ISIS fighters she was married to during her time in the caliphate. She was taken recently to a refugee camp in northern Syria by Kurdish fighters, where she has pleaded in a series of interviews to be allowed to return home.
The suit filed Friday argues that Muthana’s father is “entitled to send his daughter money to ensure the survival of his daughter and grandson, and enable them safe passage home, without subjecting himself to criminal liability.”
Muthana’s family claims she is aware she will be prosecuted upon returning home and is willing to accept her punishment.
“In Ms. Muthana’s words, she recognizes that she has ‘ruined’ her own life, but she does not want to ruin the life of her young child,” Muthana’s attorneys told AL.com in a statement. “Citizenship is a core right under the Constitution, and once recognized should not be able to be unilaterally revoked by tweet—no matter how egregious the intervening conduct may be.”