Skip to comments.Thatís it, Uncle Sam: The author renounces his US citizenship
Posted on 08/10/2006 7:25:32 AM PDT by Pokey78
Right. Thats it. Entre nous cest terminé. After 42 happy years I am getting a divorce from America. From the very emerging of my childhood consciousness I have been aware that in the eyes of billions of people around the world I have won first prize in the lottery of life. I possess it, the thing competed for by everyone from Rupert Murdoch to the most desperate Mexican wetback, and I have it by simple dint of my nativity, on the Puerto Rican Health Scheme, in New York General Hospital, NY, NY.
I am entitled to an American passport. I must confess that this knowledge used vaguely to tinge my sense of identity. My brothers and sisters are British, and so are my parents, and I would like you to know that I am a loyal subject of Her Majesty, speak in an English accent, and for years I have travelled exclusively on a British passport. But my first passport was green, and when we landed at Dover or Heathrow I felt secretly cool to be the one to present his document to be stamped.
Mine were the credentials furnished by the most powerful nation on earth, and signed by former secretary of state Dean Rusk; and when the going has got tough in England it has sometimes crossed my mind that I could yet activate the Schwarzenegger option and flee to the land of opportunity, perhaps beginning as a short-order chef in Miami before winding up as Colorado senator and, inevitably, president.
Always glowing at the back of my mind has been the light from that unused escape hatch. Lets face it, folks, we manage to endure so many of our earthly captivities by fantasising that we have somewhere a half-open door to another job, another career, another life, or indeed, if we are religious, a life of the world to come. The mere thought of that door is a consolation, even if, as things turn out, we never actually go through it.
Well, as of this week I slam that door shut, and in some indignation. It is not just that I no longer want an American passport. In fact, what I want is the right not to have an American passport, and it is that right, astoundingly, that the Americans are reluctant to give me.
Last Sunday lunchtime we were boarding a flight to Mexico, via Houston, Texas, and we presented six valid British passports. As soon as the Continental Airlines security guy saw my passport, he shook his head. Were you born in New York? he asked. Have you ever carried an American passport?
Yes, I said, but it had long since expired. I am afraid we have a problem, he said. The US Immigration say you have to travel on an American passport if you want to enter the United States. B-but Im British, I said, and my children chorused their agreement. Had the guy stuck around a moment longer, I would have told him how jolly British I was but luckily for him hed gone off in search of reinforcements.
When the ranking officer arrived, the story was the same. Im sorry, sir, he said, but youll have to go to the US Embassy tomorrow morning and get a new American passport. But I dont want an American passport, I said, inspiration striking me. I tell you what: I renounce my American citizenship. I disclaim it. I discard it.
Thats not good enough, sir, he said. I need some official document saying that you are no longer American, and that, of course, is the point of this piece.
I make this formal, public, and, I hope, legally valid renunciation, because as a result of this moronic rule I had to ask my wife (who bore this latest cock-up with amazing good humour) to take the children on her own to Houston, and I then had to spend a stonking sum on another ticket. Because the Americans insisted I was American, and that it was only as an American that I could travel to America, America was the one country that I had to avoid.
So I circumnavigated America. I flew via Madrid, managing to beat the rest of my family to Mexico by 45 minutes; and yet I still seethe. Its not just the stupidity of the rule that gets me. Its the arrogance. What other country insists that because you can be one of its nationals, then you must be one of its nationals? Imagine if we told all British-born Americans that they could not arrive in this country except by use of a British passport. I havent seen anything so insanely possessive since the negotiations on the Common Fisheries Policy, when the Irish used to claim that the cod stocks of the Atlantic were still Irish in their fishy souls, even though they had long since emigrated to Portuguese waters.
As far as I can interpret the psychology of the rule, which has only been applied since 9/11, it is part of Americas new them-and-us mentality, the Manichaean division of the world into Americans and non-Americans, obliterating any category in between. Listen, buddy, the Americans seem to be saying. You got a right to be American? Then you do us the courtesy of travelling on the worlds number one passport when you come here. What you got to be ashamed of, boy?
Well, I love America. But I dont like being pushed around and kicked off flights to what, after all, they claim is my home country. Condi, Mr Ambassador, whoever is in charge I hereby renounce my birthright. Strike me off the list.
Consider me, as you put it, an alien. Even as I write these words I am conscious of the huge potential benefits my children will now never have. Of course, it is true that it is not all jam, carrying an American passport. You tend to be first overboard when your ship is hijacked by Arabs; but then these days the Brits walk the plank pretty soon, too; and think of the advantages, that priceless sense of civis Americanus sum; that the sanctity of your life is guaranteed by the hyperpower.
Compare Americas tigerish love of her children with the pitiless indifference we show to British passport-holders from Zimbabwe. The Americans would never allow me to be tried by an international court. The Americans would never let me be extradited to face trial in the UK, even if particularly if I was involved in IRA atrocities, while we supinely offer up our subjects without demanding any evidence whatsoever.
These blessings must now remain untested by me and my descendants, and I tender my resignation from the United States, with sadness, but in the knowledge that she is probably big enough to rub along without me. Goodbye and God bless, America.
Later, dude. Good luck on that transatlantic flight back home.
Boris Johnson is, and always has been, a bit of a boob. Yes, I think we'll rub along quite nicely.
I guess the author was asleep during the London Train Bombings...
I don't get it. He doesn't seem to hate America or want a 'divorce' for any other reason than "just because".
Say Hi to Nastasha, Rocky and Bullwinkle say good riddence..
Americans don't name their kids Boris - this guy is a fraud.
If only Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore, et al would do the same.
Boris Badinoff : )
Hey, Boris, I've got a book in mind that I thought you might enjoy. It's called "Whining For Dummies."
These people are getting so tiresome.
If they must be boobs, can't they just shut up about it already?
Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out, dickhead.
Good riddance. Don't let the doorknob hit you in the a$$.
Not exactly a jolly good British name either, so what gives?
Don't let the door hit ya...
why on earth do these people think anyone cares what they do - so full of self importance !!
Don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.
Wouldn't that be funny? He can't get back into the UK because the airport is shut-down due to a terror threat. LOL
How did it write this on August 12th, 2006, two days from now?
Poor America, one less idiot.
How on earth will we make it without him?
2banana- Love the tagline!
That was the point. The bad old State Department was making him do that so he thought he'd write off the cost of the paperwork, and probably that unrestricted ticket to Mexico or wherever, by writing a column about it. In fact, now that I think about it, I'm sorry I wasted 5 minutes of my life over this. I expected an OPUS, for Pete's sake, not a complaint about bureaucracy.
Friggin' ditto my brotha.
Well, as long as it is not being done to escape the outstanding obligations [say, some tax liabilities incurred but not yet paid] - let him renounce his citizenship - not in newspaper, though, but before a consular official.
Maybe slightly OT, but I have NEVER believed in multiple citizenships. Under no circumstances.
So ... did anybody bother to read the article?
Boris is having a go at the - apparently moronic - American rules for passenger transit. He loves America. But a thousand kneejerk Freepers just put their fingers in their ears.
Emphasis on queen.
Just leave already and quit boring the rest of us to death. Like anybody cares this little pansy was inconvenienced by INS during his worldly travels.
And perhaps still asleep this morning.
I've taken to calling them cows; I'm the Center Of the World and anything, no matter how trivial, that happens to me is of critical importance and I should be able to make all the rules and, if not, break any of them that I don't agree with.
In other words your typical d*ckhead.
Anybody have a picture of this dung-sack? I like to know and see whom I despise.
Feel free to stay away as long as you like, Boris. In fact, don't come back at all and we'll all be better off.
Do not deign to bore us, Boris. Make good use of the exit door-us.
I do believe that giving up US citizenship should be much, much easier. And I believe that we would all benefit if we tried to persuade our congressmen of that idea.
It should be as easy as an uncontested divorce.
There are only four things that can be quickly proven, that should in any way slow the process down.
1) Criminal conviction or evasion of a felony charge.
2) Tax evasion or attempted money laundering.
3) Espionage or intent to violate US law after departure.
4) Unwillingness of another country to grant citizenship.
On average, perhaps one or two hundred thousand American citizens would each year exercise their option to leave for good. And *this* is the important part.
Almost all of them are kooks, freaks, the mentally ill and moonbats. Good riddance!
Many of them are deserving enough to get a free one-way ticket out.
So renouncing his U.S. citizenship is simply a metaphor? I hadn't thought of that . . . .
Correct me if I'm wrong, but since his children were born to an American citizen, aren't they also US citizens by default?
There was a troll rant posted last week that complained about how hard it was to renounce ones citizenship. In fact I've heard similar comments from liberals lately.
I think the game is to convince us that we're held hostage behind the iron curtain of America. In reality the biggest impediment to renouncing one's citizenship is getting another country to accept you. The simple fact is that the state department isn't going to allow millions of liberals renounce their citizenship only to have them remain in this country.
I've done some reading on it so I can show whiny liberals how to go about "escaping concentration camp Amerikkka". So far there have been no takers.
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