Sôgmô proposes Law on Citizenship, Immigration Process

The Sôgmô has proposed a new law in the Council governing the process by which foreigners become Sandum citizens, though it has no bearing on citizenship in Sandus. The law contains five sections concerning the process, the affirmations of the Sandum Philosophy, citizenship oaths, Sandum officials charged with immigration duties, and removal from citizenship.

The law, if ratified by the Council, would be the first such law to be enacted by the direct democratic assembly of the State of Sandus.

Section 1: Application Process
The first section on the application process makes a few minor changes in terms of forms to the current system and makes a few additions. In terms of changes, this section alters the forms which applicants use to apply for citizenship. Currently, the same form is used for those applying for civis and peregrinus status and another for socius status; under the reformed system, socius and civis applicants would apply through the same form, while those whose terminal citizenship status would be peregrine would file through a separate form. In addition, this law envisions the addition of a French-language form to become a citizen. Finally, the first section also ratifies the process by which applications are received and handled by the Sôgmô’s office and clarifies some grounds by which applications may be rejected.

Section 2: Affirmations of the Sandum Philosophy
To date, all applicants for Sandum citizenship are required to believe in the Sandum Philosophy, the national philosophy of the Sandum nation divided into three categories. This law expands that requirement to include several affirmations which applicants must affirm.

“I affirm that all people suffer in life.”
“I affirm that workers should own the corpus of production in which they labour.”
“I affirm that the public should own the means of production.”
“I affirm the principles of the rights of life and of all public freedoms.”
“I affirm that Sandum society ought to be free, liberal, and tolerant.”
“I affirm the republican constitution of the State of Sandus.”
“I affirm the value of the tripartite Sandum Philosophy.”
“I affirm the political theories of Libera, Realism, and Philia.”

Section 3: Oaths of Citizens
Another ratification of standard practice in Sandus today is the fact that the law now requires a final step to “certify” one’s citizenship: the taking of the oath of citizenship. There are three oaths, based on one’s citizenship status, and the law ratifies the text of the oaths used since July 2016.

Section 4: Sandum Officials Empowered in Immigration
The last two sections of the law concern potentially constitution-altering provisions.

The law expands upon the range of immigration powers with which State functionaries (known in Sandus as chargé(e)s d’affaires) can potentially be invested and empowered by the Sôgmô. While these powers are not significant—they primarily include administrative functions—these powers nevertheless divorce much of the immigration process from the Sôgmô in theory, except for the final decision to approve or reject an application. (Section 1 maintains that this is the Sôgmô’s sole authority.)

Phrased differently, these powers would require a decentralisation of public record-keeping and administration from the Sôgmô to an increased number of State agents.

Section 5: Removal from Citizenship
This section legitimates the process by which citizens may be stripped of their citizenship, an event which has not happened in Sandus since 2011. This section repeats much of the emphasis on wording of “good faith,” “good character,” and “philosophical purpose” discussed in Section 1, and contends that violations of these principles are grounds for expulsion from Sandus.

But this section also establishes a process of appeal for those expelled—appeal, that is, to all three leaders of the constitutional branches and to the Council directly. The ramifications of this would be significant. For the first time, in a judicial manner, a system of appeal would be established and a hierarchy of justice would be founded. This would have important implications for a future Sandum justice system.