How to be declared ‘persona non grata’ and get yourself kicked out of the United States
In response to Russian hacking of American political organizations, President Obama announced a number of retaliatory actions on Thursday, including the expulsion of nearly three-dozen Russian citizens from the United States.
“Today the State Department declared 35 Russian government officials from the Russian Embassy in Washington and the Russian Consulate in San Francisco ‘persona non grata,’ ” the White House announcement read. “They were acting in a manner inconsistent with their diplomatic status. Those individuals and their families were given 72 hours to leave the United States.”
The term, persona non grata, is a powerful one in international diplomacy. Meaning “unwelcome person,” it’s a declaration that someone is effectively banned from a country. A 1980 memo prepared by the Department of Justice for President Jimmy Carter in consideration of actions to be taken against Iran outlines the legal authority for ousting foreign agents, tracing it back to the earliest days of the American republic.
Photo credit: The Washington Post