To add to the threats presented by the NDAA, execution of US citizens without trial when the President deems them to be terrorists, and all of the other police-state/totalitarian and unconstitutional practices of the US, here is an anecdote that absolutely disgusted me.
A friend of mine knows a Swiss lady who is married to an American. Their child is also American (I am not sure if (s)he is/was also Swiss). Her husband went to work in the US. In Switzerland, an intended immigrant that doesn’t need a visa to enter can apply for a residence permit after entering on a tourist visa. Without realizing that Homeland takes a dim view of intended immigrants arriving on tourist visa-waivers, the lady went to the US without applying for a visa first, and then went to Homeland Security to apply for a green card. They forced her to sign a paper admitting that she entered the country illegally (under threat of arresting her, taking her child away from her and turning it over to social services), and exonerating Homeland for any wrongdoing.
I don’t know if she tried to apply for a visa subsequently from Switzerland, but the final result was that she went back to Switzerland with her child and her husband left the US and has never gone back. I don’t know if the guy has renounced or is just a full ostrich.
An agreement signed under threat is not an agreement. What happened was pure terrorism on the part of Homeland. Another example of the US applying their officious rules in ways that can destroy families.
*What could be even worse is that having entered the US illegally the person could be banned from filing an application for a permanent residence green card for 10 years. At least that is what happens to illegal immigrants who are discovered living in the US and who are deported.
Switzerland, so I understand, is not very gentle in the way it treats foreigners who are illegally discovered by the authorities living and working in Switzerland. One of my friends in Geneva once told me of a Swedish nanny who was working there illegally for soome she knew and whose illegal status was discovered by a police officer who questioned routinely questioned her while waiting at a bus stop on her way to work. She was promptrly deported.
No matter where you go it is important to be familiar in advance with the laws of the country to which you are traveling with the hope or intention of being able to stay there. A statement to the authorities “but that’s not the way it is done in my country” usually elicits no sympathy from the immigration authorites in any country. But that is not meant to justify unnecessarily hostile or abusive treatment anywhere.
I am aware of a Mexican businessman friend of mine who was born just over the border in a US hospital of a Mexican citizen mother who took him back to Mexico just days after he was born. Because he was born outside of Mexico to a US father, rather than a Mexican father, he did not have Mexican citizenship.
It has only been recently that Mexico had a formal procedure for naturalization of foreign born persons. It was before that recent change that he traveled to Brazil on Business and the airlines in Mexico failed to check his passport, just assuming he was Mexican. Mexicans at that time did not requre a visa to visit Brazil but US citizens did. When he arrived in Rio de Janeiro he was placed under arrest for illegal entry because he did not have a Brazilian entry visa stamped in his US passport. Brazilian immigration authorities were not impressed with the fact that he carried a Mexican permanent foreign resident identity card. He was American as far as they were concerned and all Americans must have visas issued by a Brazilian consulate outside of Brazil in order to enter that country.
With the help of a lawyer from the company he was visiting he was able to obtain a special temporary visa to enter Brazil for 24 hours, but that was not usual. He also had trouble leaving Brazil because Brazilian immigration had not stamped his passport when he arrived, and it took the intervention of the lawyer again to get that straightened out after spenind overnight under arrest at the airport when he tried to leave. The entry stamp on the temporary entry permit did not obviate the requirement for an entry stamp in his passport.
Isn’t Switzerland part of the VISA waiver program?
She didn’t enter the country illegally. She might have become illegal after if she stayed more than 3 months in the US without being approved for a visa. It would be interesting to know all the details. If she waited more than 3 months before applying for a green card, then she was illegally in the country. I am not denying that she was not treated badly, just that she might have thought it wasn’t a big deal when in fact, the US are not treating that lightly. In most cases, you have to wait outside of the country to wait for your visa or green card.
She was naive to think that immigration laws of one country apply to another, or that she could be above the law just because she is married to an American.
The problem was she was an “intended immigrant” who entered on a visa waver.
Actually, compassion would dictate that even though she made a procedural error, her husband and child are American. They need their wife and mother. Sending her out of the country makes it worse for the family, therefore worse for Americans as a part of the large picture.
Immigration laws and their enforcement are being created and run by dullards. This problem could have been solved. She entrapped herself with a written confession. That’s why we posted on the last post what we posted. It is very important to exercise the Fifth Amendment.
When I came to Canada, married to a Canadian, immigration gave me two minister’s permits to stay for a year while we sorted out what our plans were. It was common sense, and as a result of this humane treatment, I am still here in Canada and now a Canadian citizen.
Years ago, US immigration warned me that I needed to destroy my Swiss passport and renounce my Swiss citizenship. I thanked the officer for his opinion and went on my way. Later, I lost my job in the US while waiting for my spouse’s Green Card request to be approved. By the time it was approved, my spouse was immigrating to live with me where I was working in Switzerland. If the Green Card application had been approved earlier, then my spouse would have been able to financially support my job hunting in the US due to the strong demand for her speciality at the time. Instead, we figured that the cost of accepting and renewing wasn’t worth the money. Afterwards, we went on a trip to the US and US immigration ordered my spouse to stand in line for the foreigner passport control. Instead, I told the immigration officer that my spouse would stay with her family, and that was the end of the discussion. Now, the US government has kindly offered to tax my spouse’s foreign earned income for living abroad, but I don’t see the point. One would think that with citizenship-based taxation, the US government would be freely distributing US passports left and right to any taker instead of annoying American citizens.
*Please consider if you want to be publishing 3rd hand stories in the headline, where journalitstic quality demands are a bit higher. We are all angry and letting out quite a bit of steam, self included.
Nearly all of the countries want people to apply from the outside first, although there are varying levels of documented hard handedness.
The headlines whose objective is Liberty and Justice for all Americans Abroad are the ones that make new members want to participate.
swisspinoy said: “US immigration warned me that I needed to destroy my Swiss passport and renounce my Swiss citizenship“
This article http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1753.html mentions that
“The U.S. Government recognizes that dual nationality exists but does not encourage it as a matter of policy because of the problems it may cause.“
“However, dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country“
This is contrary to the oath of allegiance that we have to take when we become a US citizen.
The main question is if you live for a long period of time in a country, are you better of acquiring that country’s citizenship, even it means losing, or pledging more or less to renounce allegiance to your country of birth.
Well, there are horror stories by immigration bullies (or police) the world over. I am pretty sure that America has not cornered the market on “dullards” as Petros calls them. However, it does show how easy it is to bully either innocent or benignly negligent into signing something they should not sign, or admitting to guilt they should not admit to. That was the point on Plea Bargaining where the innocent plea guilty
@ Mark Twain: It is admittedly a third hand account. I will simply say that the editors here exercise very little control over the discussion. What we have done is provide a place where issues can be discussed freely, provided that they are on subject.
Now as to the veracity of the story and journalistic accuracy: It is true that journalist have their standards–but this doesn’t keep their stories from being completely tainted. For example, Canadian journalists, with a few exceptions, have often publicized the positions of the IRS. This is “accurate” but it is not the right narrative. Whenever I speak to journalists, I ask them to get the story right–stop providing a “service” to their readers by informing them of the IRS’s requirements, and start telling about the evil of extra-territorial citizenship-based taxation, FBAR, OVDI, and FATCA.
As for the story recounted, it is perfectly plausible. Take for example the case of half-Korean, Russel David Green, whose adopted parents rejected him, and he still has no legal status in the United States. Now even though he has no status in Korea, can’t speak Korean, and would probably die within a year or two of deportation to Korea, US immigration is seeking to send him back to Korea, thus separating him from his wife and children. This is the work of stupid and unjust people and it happens regularly when low-level intelligence people are given high paying government jobs. The story of the attempted deportation of Russel David Green is far more insane than the story recounted in the above post. So I don’t know why we would doubt the above story, at least on the face of it.
Now the above case says that even though Green’s father was a American GI, he can be deported because he was born out of wedlock. Then you have in vitro cases of children born in wedlock, whose DNA does not come from US citizens–they are not automatic citizens but must be naturalized if they are born out of the US. Thus, which is it? Are you American because of your biological parents’ DNA or not? This is insane.
@Christophe, the background to it is that I went on vacation to Europe during military leave and returned to the States with my US military id card and Swiss passport since I realized that my US passport had expired. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but someone else did. I have about 300+ years of US ancestry and 600+ years of Swiss ancestry, so I’m likely far more attached to both countries than most people living in them, and I’ve read of many single-nationals who accepted bribes to gain personal wealth while I’m a happy poor bum. Heck, isn’t FATCA aimed mainly at single-nationals who stash wealth in countries that they are not citizens of?
Well according to this video, the US wants to tax you according to your DNA…
*@Wellington, How Funny!! That was great! And so true!
*@Wellington — That was sad, enraging, too true and yet very entertaining. Did you put that together yourself? It deserves its own thread.
Yes I made it…. sometimes it’s better to entertain than to rant.
Hope no one is offended, except for the good senator..
*I was an American living and working in Brazil when, on October 4, 1976 President Ford signed the Tax Reform Act of 1976. This act, which was retroatcive to January 1 of that year horrendously increased my US tax obligation so that my cumulative total taxes to Brazil and the US overnight became 81% more than anyone else in Brazil with my exact same income (non, US citizens) and family status. That was only part of the problem. Because of the petrleum crisis back then, Brazil had established strict controls on exchanging Brazilian currency for foreign currency because the skyrocketing cost of petroleum had resulted in an acute shortage of dollars and other hard currencies necessary to pay for imported petroleum to keep the country running. Dollars for individuals, for whatever purpose, had to be applied for from the Central Bank. Such napplications were approved only when in accordance with local laws.
Applications from US citizens for dollars to pay income taxes to the IRS were denied by the Central Bank. Brazil did not recognize the authority of the US or any other foreign government to levy and collect taxes from its citizens resident in that country and, the remittance of dollars to the US for this purpose was considered a money laundering felony.
Dollars could be obtained illegally on the black market at a premium over the official exchange rate, but the purchase and sale of foreign currency on the black market was also a felony offense punishable by severe penalties and imprisionment.
I had to make a business trip to Chicago shortly after President Ford signed this act, so I mananged to sqeeze in a visit to the local IRS office to try to find out how the IRS expected Americans in my situation were to obtain dollars, the only currency accepted by the IRS, to comply with this new tax obligation. Nobody had any answers, so rather quickly was ushered into the office of the lady who was in charge of that office. I explained my dilemma.
Without batting an eyelash she stood up behind her desk, pointed towards the door and ordered me to get out and quit waisting her time. That was my problem, not hers And she added as she ushered me out the door that I must be pretty stupid to live in a country with laws like that.
So this film clip brought back memories of that visit to the IRS in Chicago some 35 years ago.
@Wellington, it’s very entertaining and it is impossible to not offend someone for some reason no matter what we say or do.
Seems then that the essential narcissism has deep historic roots – it continues to be up to us to be forced to comply with whatever ill-conceived requirements, no matter the conflict or ill fit between the demands and reality, or consequences. Thank you for continuing to keep us aware that it is of longstanding.
@Roger, What a nightmare (and I thought I had it tough). Most people in government could truly care less about us or our concerns, and this message comes back to us in many forms, from the IRS rep on the phone to American senators copying the playbook of Nazi Germany (i.e. exit tax).
Some thoughts on the Empire from The Daily Reckoning by Bill Bonner.
And, although not mentioned in the article, FATCA is certainly part of that swagger.
The other atrocity is our continued expansion of drone strikes, and the unintended consequences of these actions….
Ron Paul has released this today, and as often the case he is right on point!
Unconstitutional Uses of Drones Must Stop