By Cyrus D. Mehta
At the time of writing this blog, more than 48,000 people have signed a petition on the White House website asking that CNN talk show host be deported for his comments on gun control in the wake of the mass shootings at Sandy Hook school.
According to one of the two petitions, “We demand that Mr. Morgan be deported immediately for his effort to undermine the Bill of Rights and for exploiting his position as a national network television host to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens.”
The White House is obligated to respond if the petition gathers 25,000 signatures within 30 days. Mr. Morgan, a British citizen, is not a citizen of the United States. Non-citizens can be deported from the US for a number of immigration offenses, but can Mr. Morgan’s strident comments favoring gun control truly lead to his deportation?
Not really, based on a quick analysis of some of the relevant provisions in the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Mr. Morgan certainly doesn’t seem to be seeking “the opposition to, or the control or overthrow of, the Government of the United States by force, violence, or other unlawful means,” and so he is clearly not deportable under INA 237(a)(4)(A)(iii). Nor is he one who “endorses or espouses terrorist activity”, under INA 212(a)(3)(B)(i)(VII), and so he’s not inadmissible under that broad provision. And there’s no reason to think that opposition to the Second Amendment would have serious adverse foreign policy consequences. Indeed, it is more likely the reverse given the international outrage against proponents of gun ownership, especially the ownership of automatic assault weapon, that led to the killings of 20 defenseless children and 6 others. So INA 212(a)(3)(C) does not apply.
Mr. Morgan has nothing to fear, if he indeed fears being deported from the United States, and the petitioners are truly wasting their time and losing more and more credibility in the wake of an increasing number of gun related deaths. While the United States is clearly not the envy of the world with regard to its obsession for gun ownership that results in more homicides than most other nations, it can at least boast of freedom of speech enshrined in the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights. Anyone, citizen or non-citizen, whether within or outside the US, has the right to peacefully advocate for a change to the US Constitution, including a re-evaluation of the Second Amendment that forms the basis for people to easily own guns, including assault weapons that lead to the tragic and senseless slaughter of innocents.