Message to would-be ISIS recruits: Sarah Palin doesn’t want you back. The former Alaska governor and current media firebrand said in a Facebook post Friday that Americans who leave the country to join a foreign terrorist organization should be stripped of their citizenship.
“As crazy as it sounds, a U.S. citizen who leaves this country to join ISIS, al Qaeda, or any other terrorist organization does not immediately lose his or her citizenship,” Palin wrote in the post. “That needs to change!”
The post, which was accompanied by a video in which Palin spoke of the “threat of radical Islam,” was shared more than 1,200 times within two hours. “It’s a simple fact that some people are drawn to ISIS’s brutality,” Palin says in the video. “They’re actually inspired by videos of beheadings and burnings. They actually believe ISIS’s religious message.”
The message comes amid reports that some 20,000 foreigners have gone to fight for the extremist group, which controls portions of Iraq and Syria and has operations elsewhere in the region. It’s unclear how many Americans have attempted to join ISIS, but James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, has estimated that 180 Americans have attempted to fight for Syria, as CNN reported earlier this month.
Last year, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas pushed for a measure that would have made joining foreign terrorist groups like ISIS tantamount to renouncing one’s U.S. citizenship, but the effort was quickly shot down by Democrats. As some critics of the bill pointed out, citizenship for people born or naturalized in the United States is a right guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.
Responding to Cruz’s effort in October, Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune wrote, “letting the federal government deprive Americans of their nationality is something that should give pause to anyone acquainted with the Constitution or history.”
Watch the full Palin video here.