Citizenship is invaluable, yet our status as citizens is always at risk - even for those of us born on US soil.
Citizenship stripping allows the US to cast out its unwanted in order to suppress dissent, punish what is considered to be unpatriotic, and remove the civil rights of those whose identities are considered to be "un-American" - be it their race, religion, marriage partner, or beliefs. Hundreds of thousands of people have had their citizenship stripped away from them, yet their stories are widely unknown. Through nine powerful chapters of our history, law professor Amanda Frost explores how the concept of citizenship and the rights of citizens has evolved, and especially how it has been challenged. Drawing on the narratives of those who have struggled to be treated as full members of "We the People," Frost exposes a hidden history of discrimination and xenophobia that continues to occur today.
Frost uncovers how our government has systematically expatriated people for its own benefit and has removed the political and civil rights of dissenters in order to control the narrative of what "American" is. Harriet Scott, wife of Dred Scott, was denied citizenship to profit white men; the children of Chinese immigrants were denied citizenship to keep them out; today, in "Operation Janus," the Trump administration has created a mass denaturalization campaign for naturalized citizens and people born on US soil. You Are Not American grapples with what it means to be American and the issues surrounding membership, identity, belonging, and exclusion that continue to occupy and divide Americans today.