There are two ways to become a citizen of the United States. One is by virtue of one’s birth on U.S. soil. This is birthright citizenship, and the 14th Amendment of the Constitution guarantees it. If you were born elsewhere and wish to become a citizen of Michigan or one of the other 50 states, you can do so through a process called naturalization. However, under certain circumstances, a process called denaturalization can revoke your citizenship.

According to FindLaw, the government must meet a high burden of proof to denaturalize anyone because citizenship is such a precious right. Similarly, the grounds for denaturalization involve extremely serious violations of the law. For example, if you attained citizenship through dishonest means, by lying about your eligibility or willfully concealing relevant facts, the government may have grounds for denaturalization.

When you become a U.S. citizen, you take an oath of allegiance to the United States. If you were to join a subversive organization considered an enemy of the United States within five years of gaining citizenship, it would represent a violation of that oath, and denaturalization proceedings could commence.

Serving in the United States military represents one possible path to U.S. citizenship. Therefore, the government may have grounds for denaturalization if you receive a dishonorable discharge from the armed forces.

For most citizens, it will never be necessary to testify before a congressional committee. However, in the unlikely event that Congress does ask for your testimony, you risk denaturalization if you refuse.

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.