Billie Joe Armstrong was the frontman of Green Day. He told London fans that he would surrender his citizenship after the Dobbs Supreme Court decision.
Armstrong doesn’t mind letting it be known how woke he is. He also “threatened” to leave the U.S. when President Trump was in charge, as did many other lefty celebs—Bryan Cranston, Samuel L. Jackson, Lena Dunham, and Cher, to name but a few. Yet, curiously, they’re all still here.
Armstrong has the right to renounce his citizenship. However, not many Americans do it every year for the reasons given by the singer best known for “American Idiot.” Armstrong would swim against all the current. Over 800,000 foreigners are admitted to the United States every year.
Despite all the turmoils in the past 25 years (from 9/11 to economic crashes, wars, and pandemics), foreigners still want to come to America.
America’s known for being an extraordinary land of opportunity and hope. The personal industry is more likely to bring success and fulfillment than any other.
What about that well-publicized “fascist stampede” of liberals trying to escape Trump’s “fascist state”? It is true that there is always an ongoing stream of people who wish to renounce their citizenship.
Many of these people are foreign-born and have not returned to the United States. It can be not easy to obtain appointments at U.S. consulates abroad.
Foreigners who reside abroad must pay the $2,350 fee to renounce their citizenship. Foreigners who live abroad must also deal with the matter (which requires at least two interviews).
But, consulates or embassies weren’t given priority when COVID services were discontinued. Embassy London claims that the wait to interview has increased significantly.
As a consular officer, I dealt with a few cases of renunciation. This can severely complicate someone’s life overseas.
Other “renunciates” are people such as my French friend, who was born in California but whose father was a graduate student. The 14th Amendment allowed him to become a U.S. citizen unknowingly. They must still follow our rules, even though they didn’t intend to become Americans. To enter the U.S., they must register for the draft and obtain an American passport.
Naturalized Americans sometimes return to their homeland years later than they originally intended. This description is also found in the IRS list from the quarter just completed.
Ideological, but also personal or venal motives, are the most common reasons to quit citizenship.
Celebrities who pledge to quit politics are just that: hype.
Billie Joe and all others can give up their American citizenship. It’s a free country. Even millions of naturalized citizens such as myself are content to be here.
I prefer the “Why the West is Best”, taken by Ayaan Hirsi, a Somali-American naturalized Somalian-American AyaanHirsi to John Oliver’s “Decline of the American Empire.
I had the privilege of working alongside many Foreign Service personnel from Fiji to Togo. One of my favorite tasks was to approve Special Immigrant Visas for Embassy employees who had worked for more than 20 years.
America’s promise today does not promise perfection. It is the promise of a better Union. It takes a collective effort to keep that promise alive. Naturalized Americans are willing to accept this challenge. We don’t have to be threatened with leaving our homes and taking our toys if things don’t go our way.