It’s a sunny day in the UK. I call my father.
‘Hello Dad. I got this funny letter from my financial institution. It’s about tax, or something. Uh, am I still an American?
I was born in the U.S. Thirteen months later, we moved to the UK, where I have lived ever since.
As a baby, I had an American passport. As a child and throughout adulthood, I’ve only held a British passport. I’ve been back to the US once, for a short holiday over 20 years ago.
‘You’re American-born. I suppose that means you’re still an American?.
As it turns out, it does indeed. I am an American. I am an American who cannot remember living in America. I am an American who cannot name more than a dozen American states. I am an American who has never voted in an American election.
I am an ‘accidental American’. And for that I will pay. Literally.
This is one more example of the United States imposing citizenship on people because they were born in the U.S. Is citizenship something that one chooses or is citizenship something that is forced upon you? Does any country have the right to impose citizenship on residents and citizens of other countries? Is citizenship a “property interest” that a government has in people? Does the U.S. government believe that it has ownership over anybody born in the United States?
The Obama administration has made U.S. citizenship such a burden and devalued it to the point where people are happily paying money to be rid of it.
But, the U.S. government is making it very difficult to relinquish U.S. citizenship through the available statutory channels. This is clear from the:
- outright refusals to recognize past relinquishments
- outrageous wait times and inability to get appointments
- the outrageous and unjustifiable fee increase to renounce U.S. citizenship
- the imposition of Nazi and Soviet style exit taxes
It’s certainly “change we can never believe in”.
This is going to get very very nasty.
On the one hand we have a U.S. Government that says:
“You are our property until we say you are not”.
On the other hand we have those who don’t believe they are property and will say:
“I am a free person. How can I then be a citizen of the United States?”