Via Courthouse News, we learn of the story of Robert Darnbrough, a Canadian who renounced U.S. citizenship in 2003, and was later denied a Nexus border crossing card by U.S. Customs & Border Protection. Darnbrough filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the State Department in February 2011, which then released some documents to him in November that year. However, they did not deliver information contained in the Consular Lookout and Support System (CLASS), claiming that 8 USC 1202(f) (confidential nature of records) allowed them to withhold it under FOIA Exemption #3.
Darnbrough filed suit against the Department of State in October 2012 to force the release of the records. Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in his favour on Wednesday, stating that “that government cannot rely on Section 1202(f) to withhold information that was not gathered, used, nor is being used to determine an actual past or pending visa application”. There seem to be two pieces of information in CLASS about Darnbrough: some biographical data, and comments about his renunciation and the reason for his Nexus card denial.
If Darnbrough chooses to make public the reasons for that denial, we could learn whether it was related to his renunciation. However, Darnbrough doesn’t seem to be seeking public attention, either back in 2003 when he renounced, or now. I highly doubt he’s a covered expatriate either; he apparently works as an insurance agent in Sasketchewan. Nevertheless he’s in the Federal Register list for Q1 2005, two years after his renunciation. This fits the pattern observed earlier: the Federal Register has a near-perfect record for publishing names of ex-Americans before 2006 — no matter whether they’re rich or poor, public or private — but a far worse record afterwards.