The Department of the Treasury has finally placed the latest Quarterly Publication of Individuals Who have Chosen to Expatriate on public inspection for printing in tomorrow’s Federal Register, ten days late. Congratulations to Innocente for being the first to post the news at 9 AM right on the dot. There’s about 1,130 names of people who have permanently cut off their legal ties to the U.S. government, making this a record-breaking quarter; more names have appeared in the first half of this year than in all of the previous record high year of 2011.
The number of names in Treasury’s list roughly matches the 1,106 entries the FBI added to NICS in the same quarter. However, this still doesn’t mean their list is complete: the FBI only records people who renounced U.S. citizenship under 8 USC § 1481(a)(5), whereas Treasury is supposed to record renunciants, relinquishers (8 USC § 1481(a)(1)–(4)), and theoretically even some of the nearly twenty thousand people who give up green cards each year (though in fact there’s evidence that they do not include the latter). Projecting from the FBI’s data, the total number of people who gave up U.S. citizenship last quarter in one way or another is probably two thousand; I’d guess during the same period there’s a similar number of people giving up green cards they’ve held for at least eight of the past fifteen years (the alleged standard for inclusion in Treasury’s list), though this is harder to estimate. And while some famous ex-citizens appear in Treasury’s list, others do not.
Public figures in this quarter’s list include Hong Kong Commerce & Economic Development Bureau official Bernard Chan who renounced in February, businesswoman & political candidate Erica Yuen (a bit late, as she renounced last summer), and Israeli legislators Naftali Bennett and Dov Lipman who both gave up U.S. citizenship in January after they were elected. A colleague of mine who renounced over a year ago also finally showed up in the list. Congratulations to all friends of Isaac Brock who made the expat honour roll!
However, famous ex-citizens of recent vintage who are included find themselves outnumbered by ex-citizens who turned in their blue passports in the past four quarters but are not included: legislators & legislative candidates Fauzia Kasuri of Pakistan, Sharon Roulstone of the Cayman Islands, Akierra Missick of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Victor Okaikoi of Ghana, as well as Zurich mayor Corine Mauch. That’s not including the dozens more who gave up citizenship between 2006 and early 2012 and aren’t included either.
And unsurprisingly, neither State nor Treasury worked fast enough this time to print the names of any of the public figures known to have renounced citizenship during the last quarter, among them Hong Kong banker Marshall Nicholson, Cuban spy René González, and Taiwanese basketball player Quincy Davis. Also I don’t think Tina Turner appears, though I’m not really sure under what name she’d appear, or whether she has even started the procedures for relinquishment after naturalising as a Swiss citizen earlier this year. I guess they and the rest of us ordinary folks are not as important as Afghan leader Hamid Karzai’s brother, who was rushed through the system to show up in the list in record time, making him one of the few to receive the honour of showing up during the same quarter in which he renounced.
Shadow Raider (to whom we owe thanks for getting the above-mentioned data on green card abandonments) has another FOIA request pending with United States Citizenship & Immigration Services asking for the number of Certificates of Loss of Nationality they receive from the State Department each year. It’ll be interesting to see if their figures match up either with the FBI’s or with Treasury’s; perhaps all these missing names are due to State not forwarding some CLNs, for whatever reason?
Let it go — it is wasted energy. There is NOTHING you can do about US policies. I doubt they will retaliate. If they do, it shows further their punitive, unjust ways. You have your life to live.
I was born in the US. My daughter was born in Canada. My husband was born in Canada. We are all on the latest list.
@Medea, to be honest, if it weren’t for my family, I’d be relieved never to have to go back. But as long as my parents are still living, I’ll still be expected to visit regularly (at least every year or two).
I agree that it should all turn out OK, especially now that Petros has gone back without any trouble. But I will admit that I will be very nervous the first time I go back, probably early next year. At least my visa waiver has been approved! 😉
@PoliticalXpat, thanks for your informative post. And Thanks, @Calgary, for your continued efforts to reassure me!
@PoliticalXpat: thanks for taking the time to write that the detailed post about your experiences. I found this part especially interesting: For example, a TSA employee asked me for ID, so I showed him my Hong Kong national identity card. Because HKID’s don’t have their expiration date printed on them, he was not satisfied and kept insisting that I produce “An American ID
I personally gave up long ago on trying to get anyone in the US to accept my HKID for anything. Meaning I have to carry a passport everywhere I go. Everyone in the US who looks at my HKID assumes that the issue date is the expiration date and that the date of first registration (the little thing in parentheses which they stupidly put right under “date of issue) is the issue date, so they all think it’s expired already. (For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a picture). If I get asked for US ID I’m screwed; I haven’t had a valid US driver’s licence since a year before I moved out of the US.
The other annoying thing is all the geniuses who think I got my own date of birth wrong.
The whole CBP experience would be amusing if not for the serious potential consequences. A couple more examples…
When crossing from a six-week stay in Canada back into Maine, I made the mistake of showing the CBP inspector my now-invalid “White card”. He said “You’re all set – this is still valid”. I politely said “Sir, I have been outside the United States for more than 30 days and I am therefore required to pay a fee and submit a new I-94 form”. I was literally quoting the text of the relevant CBP regulation in my statement, but to no avail. “Nope – you’re all set – this is still valid”. He tried to waive me through the (automotive) checkpoint without stamping my passport. He was quite indignant when I explained that for purposes of the Substantial Presence Test, I needed to document my entry date, and required a stamp.
On another occasion, entering the USA, the CBP official spent a good solid 5 minutes very carefully examining EVERY SINGLE PAGE of my Dominican passport, including the blank pages, then went back and examined them all again! This was my very first post-expatriation entry to the USA, so I was literally sweating bullets with anxiety in reaction to the extraordinary scrutiny my passport was being given. Then he got up without saying anything, and called two other CBP officials over. All three of them went through my passport yet AGAIN, page by page, carefully examining both the blank and non-blank pages. I was feeling every bit of @monalisa’s present fear and paranoia, scared to death and wondering what all the fuss was about.
FINALLY, he returned, exclaimed “Wow – we’ve never seen a passport before with a different picture of a tropical bird on every single page. This is really cool!” I breathed a huge sigh of relief and confidently responded “Yes, Dominica is known as the Nature Island of the Carribbean, and we’re very proud of our wildlife”. He said “That’s really cool – I can see you’re really proud of your herritage, and I also notice from your passport that this is your first visit to America. Welcome to the United States!”.
So after THREE officials spent a good 10 minutes relentlessly scrutinizing every single page of my passport (because of the cool pictures), not a single one of them noticed I was born in the USA, that I was an expatriate, or that a white guy like me was obviously not born in Dominica. They all assumed I was a native Dominican, despite the fact that every place else I go EVERYBODY immediately knows I’m “American” because I look like the most stereotypical “American white guy” you ever saw.
BTW, re: TSA my strong advice is to ALWAYS have your passport with you when you travel. The actual requirement is for an “unexpired government issued photo ID”. The HKID technically meets those requirements, because it has no expiration date. But in practice, TSA employees will always interpret “unexpired” to mean they have to be able to find an expiration date and verify it hasn’t lapsed. More to the point, they don’t know what to make of foreign IDs. Passport is always the best solution.
@monalisa1776, of course you will be. I would be too, if I ever return. A suggestion: if possible use one of the more popular/regular crossing points where Canadians are crossing the border every day rather than a little used one. The staff are more likely to be aware of CLN’s and expats in general and hopefully won’t be so inclined to single you out.
@Eric & PoliticaXpat, some officials just defy belief. The Hong Kong ID could definitely be better designed though. Eric, if you have a cancelled US passport then carry that as extra back-up. If an invalid driver’s licence is acceptable then surely a cancelled passport would be too. Or you can be bolshi and argue forcefully that as a non-American it’s very unlikely you’d have any American ID and why would he/she be stupid enough to think you would. Okay, maybe not the last bit. But if they get shirty, then demand to talk to their superior. Expecting an American ID from someone who isn’t is just plain ricidulous.
Just a little humorous event to show how border crossings are just that…
On our last trip to England and Europe…we took the Chunnel from England to France (2nd time, as we love the idea of wine and dine on a train)…first time…our passports were stamped, leaving UK entering Europe…
This last trip, as we were being searched at Frankfurt Airport as we were embarking flight for return to Canada…they asked us how we got into Europe..no entry stamp on our passports…apparently, staff at the Chunnel failed to stamp us in…
So, I guess there are 2 Canadians still in the UK unofficially impinging on their daughters hospitality 😉
I just crossed the border on Friday. Of course, my Canadian passport has my US place of birth listed. The border guard asked nothing about my citizenship, period. If I remember correctly, DHS (who shares info with CBP) has our info from DOS once our applications are sent to DC. The list was out for one day before I left and I was on it. So it would seem the agent could certainly see that info once he scanned my passport. All he tried to do was trip me up with questions about my nephew (was going to his wedding). Not a word about expatriation or anything scary. Just your standard silly set of questions. I think we should try to consciously avoid the kind of paranoia that got us all started in the first place. As I was told when my oath was done, “you have the same right to enter the US as any other CDN citizen.” They want people to come and spend money. That’s what they really care about. We simply aren’t that important to them.
Maybe only important as cash cows.
Well, I just got a shock! I renounced my US citizenship in Mar, 2012 and received my CLN in Nov., 2012. I didn’t make the Federal Register, presumably because my income is too low to be a “covered” expatriate. Just for the hell of it, I was checking the August 9, 2013 Federal Register list of those losing US citizenship and, low and behold, there I was! Somehow, I feel more “official” now. 🙂
I cross from Canada to the US regularly (6-8 times per year) and have only been asked once about my US place of birth in the last three years. I don’t think it is a big issue…yet.
Congratulations, Bruce Newman. For most of us, it is not a “Shame” to be on the US “Name and Shame List.” My husband, my daughter and I are on there as well — believe me, none would be considered “covered expatriates” unless perhaps we had not filed the 8854.
” I didn’t make the Federal Register, presumably because my income is too low to be a “covered” expatriate.”
That has nothing to do with who is on the list.
@Bruce Newman, there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the way names appear on the list. I renounced in March this year and appeared on the June list. I only needed to file FBAR’s as I have no income/wealth so wouldn’t meet the covered expat criteria, even if I wasn’t exempted, and I haven’t yet filed my 8854 form. Sometimes I wonder if they just pull names out of the hat of people who’ve given up US citizenship but not yet been listed and make the quarterly register up that way.
The opening paragraph in the Federal Register posting says this:, in part: “This listing contains the name of each individual losing their United States citizenship (within the meaning of section 877(a) or 877A)…”
877 (a) refers to “26 USC § 877 – Expatriation to avoid tax” and “(a) Treatment of expatriates”. Generally, this section describes covered expatriates. 877 A refers to “26 USC § 877A – Tax responsibilities of expatriation” and in general describes the rules for determining the market value of assets for covered expatriates.
It has been my understanding, perhaps incorrectly, that the opening paragraph on the Federal Reserve “name and shame” list has in recent years restricted those listed to covered expatriates by the insertion of these two qualifiers. Thus my surprise at being included.
Well, as I said, I’m not a covered expat and I made the last list. Their criteria is just plain wierd.
Yes, I can understand your surprise, however that is definitely not the criteria, nor could it possibly be, since many people appear on the list before they even file 8854, i.e. it is unknown whether a given person will or will not be classified as a “covered expatriate” at the time their name is published. Medea is just one example of this.
Maybe the Federal Register should change the opening to read “This listing contains, but is not limited to, the name of each individual losing their United States citizenship…”
@bubblebustin, how about just “This listing contains some names.”
Even better 🙂
Something we may want to consider running in tandem with the renunciations are the number of birth’s abroad being registered. Anyone have an idea where these can be accessed in the Federal Register?
@bubblebustin, I doubt very much that the number of births abroad (Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen — CRBA, or Form FS-240) being registered is a matter of public record, any more than the number of CLNs is.
The only reason that the “Name and Shame” list appears in the Federal Register is that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1995 requires the Secretary of the Treasury (Note: not the Secretary of State) to publish such a list.
Thanks for the clarification. I suppose if the Secretary of State was responsible for it, it might be more accurate.