Frequent commenter to our blog, Allen L. Lee asks the question in a comment on another post and I thought I would give it its own post
Can the tribes absolve the federal government of it's legal agreements with tribal members by dis-enrolling them? I think the answer is, No!
Though the tribes as seperate sovereigns may absolve themselves of any legal relationship with a member by dis-enrolling them, the tribes can not absolve any legal relationship a tribal member may have with the federal government on behalf of the federal government. This would include who the federal government agrees to recognize as citizens of a tribe.
If it were accurate that the Federal government leaves membership solely up to the tribes , then the following prosecutions covered at this link, http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-10-20-tribe-fraud_N.htm would not have happened.
I will paraphrase an important statement from this link which says that the BIA denied recognition for this fake tribe because it had no historical characteristics, etc. It also said that even if they did recognize the tribe, tribal granted membership to an illegal alien would not confer U.S citizenship to the member.
This is a point demonstrating that how the U.S. recognizes a tribal citizen can be independent of how a tribe recognizes a tribal citizen
Please help expand the points with your comments