” Absolutely shocking. That you even have to ‘apply’ to relinquish what you never signed up for is intellectually insulting. That you cannot do so freely, and immediately, is nothing short of totalitarian.
Then there’s the latest, greatest tax target: accidental US citizens. This group consists of foreigners who happen to be dual nationals because they were born in the US or have an American parent.
Citizenship is nothing more than accident of birth. Yet in the modern nation-state paradigm, governments lay claim to citizens from the time they’re born as if we’re property.
Children are saddled with obligations that they never signed up for– taxes, compulsory military service, a debilitating national debt, etc.
Most countries at least have procedures to voluntarily surrender citizenship for those who choose to opt out of the system; in the United States, it is contained in section 349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The process usually takes place overseas at a US consulate– you have to fill out a series of forms, swear an oath in front of a government official, and eventually file a final tax return. Some people even have to pay a steep ‘exit tax’ on the value of their assets.
I know dozens who have done this, and from what my friends tell me, many of the consular officials attempt to impugn, insult, or otherwise intimidate people looking to surrender their citizenship. It’s their last-ditch effort to keep the milk cows from escaping the dairy farm.
But in what may be the most distinguishing mark of a totalitarian state, the US government has now officially prevented someone from freely leaving the system. The Soviet Union comes to mind.
It certainly does make one wonder to what desperate lows they will sink to next. “