Here is the link to the December 9, 2020 U.S. District Court filing by Marc Zell on behalf of plaintiffs and AAA.
The Complaint starts out by saying:
“1. Voluntary expatriation, the ability to renounce one’s nationality , is a fundamental right, upon which, arguably, all other civil rights ultimately depend. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, expatriation is a “natural right which all men have.” A Bill Declaring Who Shall Be Deemed Citizens of This Commonwealth, June 18, 1779….”
What would the timing be on this litigation? I ask because with the consulates currently closed it’s probably going to be another year before anyone can renounce. Successfully forcing down the fee would be beneficial to anyone who’s had to wait.
I wonder also how the State Department would react if the fee were cut? Either they speed up the process to spend less time on each renunciation (a good outcome) or they restrict access still further to reduce the number (a bad outcome).
With an agreement on the second round of relief last night there will be another $600 cheque soon. This reduces the effective cost of renunciation to $550 for anyone willing and able to collect the full stimulus benefit. I would expect further relief in the new year as well, given how badly things are going in the US – particularly if the Democrats take the Senate on 5 January.
Very exciting and welcome development.
They’ll still stem the flow by limiting appointments, the fact they can’t profit from renunciation being all the more incentive to limit appointments. This might just be a case of being careful what you wish for.
Actually a number of consulates are open and people have had renunciation appointments.
That’s interesting. Where are they open? Nowhere in the northern hemisphere I’d expect.
I’m a mod on a Facebook group called ‘Renounce US Citizenship-Why and How’. Looking at recent postings, someone has renounced in Sydney and another was offered an appointment in Melbourne. Another renounced in November in Singapore. Amsterdam is taking appointments, but only for those who live in the Netherlands. Brussels is booking appointments, but also only for those resident in Belgium.
I figured Australia, New Zealand and some Asian countries might be a go. I submitted my application for Canada on 7 November and have only received the form letter, so they clearly aren’t booking appointments here, and probably need to first deal with the backlog. I may have better luck in Europe this fall, assuming we can travel and I can do it as a non-resident.
The embassy in Singapore is open “for all routine services” and nothing about any limitations on their renunciation web page. The consulate in Hong Kong says: “Please contact us by email at email@example.com to start or restart your renunciation process. Please note that we will not be able to accommodate all renunciation cases right away and that resumption of this service could be scaled back at any time depending on local public health conditions.”
As has been the case for at least a few years, both places state that priority is for bonafide residents of Singapore/Hong Kong, respectively, so don’t start booking your renunciation tours yet.
The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT, the pseudo-embassy, since we don’t officially recognize Taiwan) is accepting appointments. The trick is getting in (there’s a two-week quarantine). Also, I think you’d have to go to the AIT twice. (I wrote the AIT and posted what they said at the end of another thread somewhere–I can go hunt for it if you like.)
On the news above (which I’m just now seeing on Christmas Day), my first reactions range from “right on” to “Viking slow clap.” I wonder if the counter-argument will be that relinquishment per se is free, and the fee is only for the CLN?
Here’s that comment you made: http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2020/08/16/us-citizen-consular-services-begin-to-open-up-appointments-for-visas-or-renunciation-are-not-available-until-further-notice/comment-page-2/#comment-8858436
The DOS warns Americans of potential perils encountered when traveling abroad, but does not warn foreign travelers, particularly expectant mothers, of the peril of giving birth in the United States. The burden of an unwanted American citizenship can torment her child for the remainder of his, or her adult years, irrespective of where he, or she takes permanent residence. It would be prudent for an expectant mother to cross the nearest border before giving birth to avoid so burdening her child. Canada, in particular, has excellent maternity hospitals. If the child, on reaching adulthood, chooses to renounce unwanted Canadian, or Mexican citizenship, that can be far more easily and far less expensively done than renouncing an unwanted American citizenship. Why the DOS does not issue the appropriate warning for foreign travelers is not explained. However, it should be the responsibility of Canada, France, Italy, the U.K. and other E.U. members, Asian, African and other nations to provide the appropriate warnings to their citizens who travel to the United States. The failure to provide such a warning puts all foreign visitors to the U.S. in peril.
@ Mike 71..
I agree with you, anyone considering having a child in the USA, taking citizenship of the USA, taking a long term greencard and more should be given a warning that they are exposing themselves to potential long term harm that I have no qualms in calling a human rights abuse any more.
(Even if some can avoid the worst of this by ignoring it for now, Ron).
But try getting anyone in the USA to even look to see if there is a problem here, let alone admit that the US government has made US citizenship toxic in a way that can grievously harm human rights and make claims to be a beacon of freedom look like a complete joke.
I just showed an American an absolute laundry list of the harm the US is doing to its citizens abroad that you would think would provoke alarm and horror, instead you get “that’s the price you pay for the benefits”. Arrogance, pure arrogance. US politicians are not even going to admit something is horribly wrong here, let alone warn people that the US has gone full blown human rights abusing tyrant.
Our own politicians are scared to death of the USA, and even they are unwilling to even look at your claims because if they are true they just might need to start doing something about it and we are back to them being terrified of upsetting the USA.
My own MP played the usual game, going straight on the defensive for the USA!? Why? Before she even heard me out!
Oh but they only need to report, no big deal and no tax.
There’s a FEIE of some $130,000 so not tax issues really.
It’s taken me nearly a year of education and pressure for her to understand that we have a foreign nation persecuting our immigrants in a way that clearly, demonstrably tramples human rights and not only have we not told this foreign nation to go take a hike and pound sand as a sovereign nation should, we have joined in with the abuse with FATCA which even breaks our own laws!
Incidentally, I am surprised to see the UK has refused to extradite Assange to the USA but I’m not surprised to see the reason was he is a suicide risk. I personally believe that this was a political decision because saying that they were not going to send him to a vindictive nation that would torture him via an inhumane prison and justice system would just upset the bully a little too much.
I’m late to the party again, here, but I’m SO glad to see this suit filed. Thanks to Marc Zell! And thanks for posting it, Stephen.