Musk and Thiel are highly deportable

Two of the world’s wealthiest men—Peter Thiel and his friend and business colleague Elon Musk—became U.S. citizens through the naturalization process. Both are aiding and abetting neo-Nazi and other far-right causes in the United States and fit the bill of “undesirable aliens.” Thiel, through bankrolling the political campaigns of dangerous Nazi sympathizers like Blake Masters in Arizona, and Musk, in re-platforming hundreds of neo-Nazis on Twitter, pose a threat to the constitutional governance of the United States. Thiel and Musk are as deportable from the United States as were dozens of Nazis who were discovered to have carried out war crimes during World War II. In any event, Thiel does not seem to care very much about his acquired U.S. citizenship since he also carries a New Zealand passport and is attempting to obtain one from Malta.

Although it is rare for naturalized U.S. citizens to be stripped of their citizenship and deported, U.S. immigration law permits it under certain circumstances. These include committing fraud during the naturalization process, refusing to testify before the Congress, and the one criteria that could be used against Thiel and Musk: membership in or support for subversive groups that advocate the overthrow of the U.S. government.

Thiel, who was born in Germany and spent part of his youth in South Africa and South West Africa, has bankrolled Republican politicians, including Donald Trump, who are on the record supporting the January 6, 2021 insurrection against the U.S. government. Musk, born in South Africa to a South African father and Canadian mother, has advocated for a wide range of subversive causes, including his quite recent embrace of QAnon conspiracies.

As naturalized citizens, Thiel and Musk seem to believe they have the right to threaten the very country that granted them the safe harbor of American citizenship. Their free ride must come to an end through denaturalization and deportation from the United States.

The support of Thiel and Musk for far-right seditious causes is certainly more reprehensible than the activities of the British right-wing former publishing tycoon Conrad Black. After his 2007 conviction by the United States for felony fraud as the head of Hollinger International, which owned the Daily Telegraph, Chicago Sun-Times, and Jerusalem Post, Black was deported to Canada from the United States after being released in 2012 from a U.S. prison. Black is actually a citizen of the United Kingdom, where he serves as a non-affiliated peer of the House of Lords. Although he is not a U.S. citizen, Black counts a number of influential Americans among his friends, most notably Donald Trump. Black’s 2018 book, “Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other,” was so flattering to his longtime friend, Trump granted Black a full pardon in 2019.

Although his original conviction barred Black from re-entering the United States for 30 years, Trump’s pardon lifted that restriction. Black now freely travels to the United States, where he is a commentator for such far-right fare as Sebastian Gorka’s podcast, the Falun Gong’s Epoch Times newspaper, and the National Review. The case of Black is instructive as far as one point in concerned: having money and influence is no bar against being declared an undesirable alien and being deported from the United States. This same standard should be applied to Thiel and Musk.

As far as denaturalization and deportation are concerned, let Thiel and Musk join other Americans, citizens and residents, who were either stripped of their acquired U.S. citizenship or Green Cards and sent packing. They include Hermine Braunsteiner, Nazi prison guard at the Ravensbrück and Majdanek concentration camps, the latter where she had been nicknamed the “Stomping Mare” for beating prisoners to death; Karl Linnas, commandant of the Nazi concentration camp at Tartu in Estonia; Charles Ponzi, convicted for numerous cases of fraud and deported to Italy in 1934—his name lives on in the term “Ponzi scheme;” Andrija Artuković, founder of the Croatian fascist Ustasha movement; and Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel, author of “The Hitler We Loved and Why,” deported from Tennessee to Canada in 2003.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright © 2022

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author and nationally-distributed columnist. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Press Club. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).

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