George has another excellent comment that must be posted. Here it is:
I made a list of what is probably all the steps we have gone through on our own paths. I am sure there are differences but in general terms.
Journey, one step in front of the other.
1.) Decision to leave the homeland. Face possible concern and ridicule from friends and family in homeland.
2.) Apply for all the visas and other requirements to be a properly documented immigrant in your new land. Concern from homeland friends and family grows, they whisper about us.
3.) Spend years learning language, customs and become assimilated into your new home. Your allegiance is slowly transferred to your new home. Friends and family in the homeland think of you as the crazy relative locked up in the basement. They are somewhat embarrassed about us but figure we will come back saying what a mistake it was and how bad the health care system is and we ran away from the health care death panel.
4.) After a certain number of years you realize that you are no longer X but you have become Y. You fill out countless papers to be naturalised/registered as a new citizen. Christmas cards from the homeland are very light this year.
5.) The Big Day! Just like new immigrants to the USA are fully expected to become completely loyal to their new land, we/you do the same thing in our new land. Some of us in accordance with US Code as ordered changed by the US Supreme Court, intend that this action to be a relinquishing act.
Remaining proud to be an American, now proud to be a ______ Citizen, but no longer a US Citizen.
Or for others remaining proud to be an American, now proud to be a ______ Citizen, but no longer a US Citizen at least in respect to where you are living in accordance with the Master Nationality Act.
Christmas cards from the homeland grow in abundance because your homeland is where your heart is and that is where you are and your friends who are fellow citizens realize this. They no longer ask you if you are a tourist or when are you going home, didn’t you hate that. Or the question, are there things you miss?
6.) Carry about our lives in our home country. As a Citizen of X, living in X, I have only one citizenship recognized by Country X. You are calm, happy and at peace, probably the happiest you have ever been.
7.) At some point realize that our former country has established new laws or re-interpreted old ones that have absolutely no comparison to those in the countries of our sole allegiance or for some primary allegiance. Our newish countrymen look at us cross eyed when we explain what happened, they do not believe us.
8.) Panic, Fear, Health Problems
9.) Resolution. You realize that you are Canadian or French or _______, that you are not a US Citizen and have never acted like a US Citizen since becoming Canadian, French or German. Psychologically you are free at last, start sleeping again.
10.) Decision time. Do you appease those to the south (N/E/W)? For some it will make clear sense to get a CLN. For others it may look outright foolish to get a CLN. For some it will be a mixed bag.
11.) Final Sadness. All of us out of respect to the place we were raised in, or where we have family, or of a place we really never had ties but dreamed of it as that shining place on a hill, have great sadness that US Citizenship has become something that people want to get rid of like gum on a shoe. A place where when learning you might be a US Citizen is like a doctor telling you that you have a destructive disease. A place where you have become afraid to even visit again.
12.) Conclusion. Those with a CLN have some security but remain wondering if Congress or the Supreme Court will change the rules again and give them their citizenship back, something they do not want back. We have seen the rules changed too many times, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.
Those without a CLN will wonder if their Country will support their Citizens of which you are an equal Citizens. A naturalised or registered citizen is equal to someone born in that country. Equal treatment under the law is only what we want.
Those that remain dual US in both their heart and actions? You know what they say being in the middle of the road? You become road kill unless you are very adept on your feet and can stay informed as to what Congress and agencies are doing every month.
The dream that you can carry a blue book and redbook, that you can vote for your MP and member of congress, that you can work in one country every other year, AND juggle the administrative burden associated with and not screw up, well I hate to say it but it is a dream. The plates will come down and break to pieces.
Canadian/Ireland, Yes it works.
Irish/French, Yes it works.
USA/_______, it only works one direction if you live in the homeland.
Now, we need another such post about such a journey for “Accidental Americans” — the next generation. We never meant to bring this upon our children!