AA7295
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Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:29 am

Birthright Citizenship (or jus soli as it is technically called) is a very contentious subject. It basically means any person born in the jurisdiction of the United States becomes a US citizen.

As a tax-paying US citizen, I am firmly against the 14th Amendment which ensures such laws. Basically this law encourages the birth of anchor-babies. It also allows pregnant tourists to have their babies in the US and for those kids to become US citizens.

What I'm most concerned about is the abuse of this law to say a pregnant female from say the middle east somehow slips through the cracks and has her baby in the US, and that baby becomes a US citizen, goes back to the middle east, is trained to be a terrorist and then has unrestricted entry to the US to do "whatever".

I like the Australian and British system where birthright citizenship is only granted if at least one parent is a citizen, or if one parent is a LEGAL permanent resident.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2005/nov/03/20051103-115741-1048r/

This article (although 7 years old) details efforts by the GOP to initiate changes to the 14th Amendment. It's probably the only thing I agree with the Republicans.

Thoughts?
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:53 am

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
What I'm most concerned about is the abuse of this law to say a pregnant female from say the middle east somehow slips through the cracks and has her baby in the US, and that baby becomes a US citizen, goes back to the middle east, is trained to be a terrorist and then has unrestricted entry to the US to do "whatever".

I wouldn't be surprised if there were sleepers in the US right now who fit your description.
 
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scbriml
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:28 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
What I'm most concerned about is the abuse of this law to say a pregnant female from say the middle east somehow slips through the cracks and has her baby in the US, and that baby becomes a US citizen, goes back to the middle east, is trained to be a terrorist and then has unrestricted entry to the US to do "whatever".

That's at least an 18-year plan with zero guarantee that the kid will be interested in carrying it out when it grows up.   

Seriously, how is this a major issue? There are far bigger things to be worried about.
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einsteinboricua
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:29 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
What I'm most concerned about is the abuse of this law to say a pregnant female from say the middle east somehow slips through the cracks and has her baby in the US, and that baby becomes a US citizen, goes back to the middle east, is trained to be a terrorist and then has unrestricted entry to the US to do "whatever".

A lot of flaws in this:
1. Only a handful of terrorists caught were US citizens. IIRC, none of the hijackers in 9/11 were US nationals.

2. I really doubt a woman from the Middle East (and why the Middle East?) has this diabolical scheme to have a baby born in the US so that he can later grow up hating the country he was born in, go and train in the Middle East and then have a car bomb go off at the Empire State Building. This is utter paranoia and shows a bit of stereotyping. Anyone who really hates the US that much and is willing to engage in terrorism won't spend their time and money going to the US to have a baby nor have them apply for US citizenship.

3. The only ones really 'abusing' the system are immigrants from Latin America. I have yet to hear of a German, Russian, or Chinese tourist who purposely crossed the pond so that her baby grew up as a US citizen. Have you heard of a terrorist act from Roberto Gonzalez, the anchor baby from almost 30 years ago?

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
I like the Australian and British system where birthright citizenship is only granted if at least one parent is a citizen, or if one parent is a LEGAL permanent resident.

I can see a Harry Potter-style scenario where all white US nationals will try to maintain the "purity' of their system and discourage anyone from marrying Latinos, Middle Easterners, and perhaps even Blacks (not Asians or Europeans because they are of fair skin like them, of course) so that their babies remain pure US nationals and not have an ounce of any other race. With the mental health the US currently has, I wouldn't be surprised.
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:38 pm

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 3):
2. I really doubt a woman from the Middle East (and why the Middle East?) has this diabolical scheme to have a baby born in the US so that he can later grow up hating the country he was born in, go and train in the Middle East and then have a car bomb go off at the Empire State Building.

You just because you were born in a country doesn't mean you have to grow up in it.
 
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Zkpilot
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:53 pm

Makes a lot of sense to change the law as it is being widely abused (mostly by the Latino community but also by people of other ethnicities).
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Quokkas
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:04 pm

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.”

My question is why has this been interpreted to include the example given by the OP? If some Middle Eastern woman came to the US to give birth and subsequently moved that child to a terrorist training camp in Lebanon or the Philippines, how could that person be said to be "subject to the jurisdiction thereof"? Since when are either Lebanon or the Philippines under the jurisdiction of the USA?

I can see a case where a person is born in the US to a US service person or diplomat and moved to a foreign country in the course of the parents' employment being 'subject to the jurisdiction thereof". I can see a case if a person may have initially come to the US, either legally or illegally, gave birth and remained so that the child grew up to be by all intents an American. But a person who has no connection other than the expedience of birth followed by departure postpartum?

Perhaps the Supreme Court could reconsider the interpretation of this Amendment to clarify what exactly "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" means.
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casinterest
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:50 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
As a tax-paying US citizen, I am firmly against the 14th Amendment which ensures such laws. Basically this law encourages the birth of anchor-babies. It also allows pregnant tourists to have their babies in the US and for those kids to become US citizens.

The 14th amendment is very important and give many more rights than just citizenship.
Anchor babies are not the problem. Illegal -Immigration is the real issue, and that should be the target of any legislation first.

Terrorists with citizenship or non-citizenship are still terrorists, and whether you perceive one to be a greater threat is a personal distinction.
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Kiwirob
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:57 pm

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 6):
But a person who has no connection other than the expedience of birth followed by departure postpartum?

One of my cousins was born in the US her mum and dad stayed there until she was ok to travel, and that's about the sum total of her time spent in the US, but she is a US citizen and has a US passport.
 
windy95
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:05 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
I am firmly against the 14th Amendment which ensures such laws
Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
Basically this law encourages the birth of anchor-babies. It also allows pregnant tourists to have their babies in the US and for those kids to become US citizens.

The 14th amendment has been twisted to no end by judges and politicians. It in no way was meant for any of the above scenarios that you mentioned. It was simply what it says and it was to make the slaves and children of slaves as citizens.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 6):
My question is why has this been interpreted to include the example given by the OP? If some Middle Eastern woman came to the US to give birth and subsequently moved that child to a terrorist training camp in Lebanon or the Philippines, how could that person be said to be "subject to the jurisdiction thereof"? Since when are either Lebanon or the Philippines under the jurisdiction of the USA?

Exactly. If you read what the framers of the law had been saying at the time it did not cover any foreigner visiting the country. Just another part of the constitution that our Federal Government and the terrorist in black robes have bastardized to garner money, votes and power.
 
Charles79
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:12 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
What I'm most concerned about is the abuse of this law to say a pregnant female from say the middle east somehow slips through the cracks and has her baby in the US, and that baby becomes a US citizen, goes back to the middle east, is trained to be a terrorist and then has unrestricted entry to the US to do "whatever".

Wow, just wow. Like the other posters who have commented on this, I find it somewhat irrational to base the oposition against a law on such a far fetched, fear-induced notion. And just like einstein asked, why the Middle East? Haven't you heard of the number of terrorists caught within the last ten years here in the US that were home-grown US citizens (the Aurora shooter comes to mind).

Coming back to reality, I have heard of several cases where folks try to "abuse" this law. Yes, many Latino women do it, but also many, many women from Africa, Asia and elsewhere (walk around IAD one afternoon and watch several international bound passengers with children under 20-days of age flying back home). Now the question is how this problem affects those of us who are US citizens living and paying taxes in the US. If the way the law is written right now is a problem, would you care elaborating on how exactly it impacts the nation? Are we giving free health care to these citizens? Are we passing them checks every month? Are these children coming back to the US as adults later on in life to live off the system or join gangs/deal with drugs? We do have free education up to high school but I doubt they’re benefiting from it. I also doubt that they’ll use our higher education institutions as they’d have to pay out-of-state fees. We no longer have a draft so they have no mandatory service to skip on, nor do we require all citizens to vote on election night (and again, I highly doubt that, once they are of age, they cast absentee ballots).

I'm not trying to be facetious; I’m just trying to understand what the problem with this law is right now, other than perhaps creating more US citizens that aren’t living in the country. If they are neither using the services offered by the government nor paying taxes, it is essentially a moot point.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:18 pm

I'm not so concerned about the terrorism angle, but rather the huge magnet birthright citizenship provides to economic migrants.

In most civilized countries, If you sneak over the border, you will NEVER become a citizen, and neither will your children. If you are caught one day, you will be deported, even if you've been in country for 20 years and have a family.

The US should amend the Constitution to do the same thing, IMHO. Pass that, and THEN you can discuss legalization for all those who are already here.
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einsteinboricua
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:28 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 4):
Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 3):
2. I really doubt a woman from the Middle East (and why the Middle East?) has this diabolical scheme to have a baby born in the US so that he can later grow up hating the country he was born in, go and train in the Middle East and then have a car bomb go off at the Empire State Building.

You just because you were born in a country doesn't mean you have to grow up in it.

That makes the argument even worse. If I were a Saudi and hated the US, why would I travel to the US, have a baby there, and travel back to Saudi Arabia or another country?
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
Quokkas
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:50 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 11):
In most civilized countries,

While I agree that the prime concern for many is with reducing illegal immigration and not terrorism, some civilised countries have legislation that protects human rights. While not everyone may agree with that notion it does seek to ensure that people do not become stateless through no fault of their own.

It is sometimes argued that making it more difficult to obtain citizenship acts as a deterrent. Yet it still leaves some people being penalised for an action over which they had no control. Blame the parents? By all means. But that doesn't solve the problem in every circumstance.

One concern that crossed my mind is how would this/ or does it affect people who are lawfully in the US as refugees? I forget the exact wording (it was said many years ago, before my time even  ) but did not the US proclaim:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Apologies if I got it wrong and it may not have been official, but i do recall it being quoted. That verse proclaimed a generous spirit of holding out a helping hand, a welcome to those in need. Sure, some people may have abused it but not all do.

Sadly, my own Government seems hell-bent on proving that they can display the same inhumane treatment, pettiness and vindictiveness as the opposition when it comes to people claiming refugee status. Political point scoring is more important than the well-being of real, living people.


Edited to correct grammar

[Edited 2012-11-27 07:08:22]
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Mir
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:20 pm

Quoting windy95 (Reply 9):
The 14th amendment has been twisted to no end by judges and politicians.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

That's pretty cut and dry. If you're born in the United States, you're a citizen. Not much room for twisting there.

Quoting windy95 (Reply 9):
If you read what the framers of the law had been saying at the time it did not cover any foreigner visiting the country.

Then they should have made that clear in the text, shouldn't they?

-Mir
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einsteinboricua
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:40 pm

Quoting windy95 (Reply 9):
If you read what the framers of the law had been saying at the time it did not cover any foreigner visiting the country.

Because back then, people could fly at supersonic speeds and immigration from one country to the other could be done in a matter of hours... 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:03 pm

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 13):
While I agree that the prime concern for many is with reducing illegal immigration and not terrorism, some civilised countries have legislation that protects human rights. While not everyone may agree with that notion it does seek to ensure that people do not become stateless through no fault of their own.

No person is stateless. Around the world, the standards are quite standard. A Vietnamese citizen gives birth in the US, the child is a Vietnamese citizen - particularly if the mother is not a legal resident of the US - which means by default that she is still a resident of her home country - legally speaking.

You'd have to try VERY hard to be properly stateless. In fact I can't think of a way to be stateless with the exception of some big civil war where your country of origin simply no longer exists. That whole "Oh we don't want to make them stateless" argument is a red herring.
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D L X
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:26 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
As a tax-paying US citizen, I am firmly against the 14th Amendment

You should be pretty careful about your wording there. The 14th Amendment is probably the second or third most important of them all, granting equal rights to everyone.

Quoting scbriml (Reply 2):
Seriously, how is this a major issue?

It isn't.

Quoting windy95 (Reply 9):
The 14th amendment has been twisted to no end by judges and politicians.

No, it really hasn't, especially not on this issue.

For one, if you were born in the US, you were a citizen of the US long before the 14th Amendment was ratified. The 14th Amendment simply removed the exclusion of this rule from slaves.
 
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Tugger
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:33 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
I like the Australian and British system where birthright citizenship is only granted if at least one parent is a citizen, or if one parent is a LEGAL permanent resident.

I could support a change to allow it when at least one parent is here legally, whether visiting on a visa or permanent what have you.

My parents are immigrants, they were here legally with green cards when I was born. I was am the only "born American" in my family.

Tugg
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fr8mech
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:45 pm

I do think we need to look at the issue.

I'm not concerned about he terrorism angle, it's just not a probable scenario.

The anchor baby thing is a concern...and, though those from Hispanic nations seem to be forefront in the news, its an issue concerning any nation.

I'd suggest that any child born in the US must have at least one US citizen parent or that both parents were in the US legally at the time of birth.
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Mir
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:04 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 19):
I'd suggest that any child born in the US must have at least one US citizen parent or that both parents were in the US legally at the time of birth.

Why both? Let's take the anchor baby situation, but make one of the parents a legal immigrant. Is the child not going to be raised by that parent in the US regardless of what happens to the other one? And if so, why shouldn't the child be a citizen?

-Mir
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LAXintl
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:05 pm

Anchor baby angle is real and a major ongoing event.

And its not just illegals that look to have babies in the US, its legal visitors who plan the birth of their children in US hospitals solely for the reason of acquiring US citizenship. Merely a few weeks ago I got to meet a professional European couple on a trip visiting the US that they specifically planned things out to give birth in the US.

So yes, cutting off this automatic incentive could have some merit.

Oh an before people jump on the discrimination band wagon, there are many world nations out there that do not automatically grant citizenship simply by location of birth.
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Quokkas
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:37 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 16):
No person is stateless.

Really? According to the UNHCR there are about 12 million people who are stateless. You may wish to disabuse those 12 millions of their incorrect thinking. If you are correct they have citizenship and are too stupid to realise it.

I choose the following simply as an example because people are more likely to be familiar with the subject (regardless of what views they hold.) Individual Palestinians are sometimes regarded as stateless because
1) a state of Palestine has never existed and therefore those who never left areas claimed by Israel have no statehood and can not be granted citizenship unless they deny the fact that they are Palestinians, and
2) states to which refugees moved did not automatically grant citizenship.

Can you provide me with an internationally recognised Palestinian Passport issued by a state called Palestine?

While the UN has attempted to introduce standards, not every country has adopted them. This applies not only to citizenship but a plethora of other standards. For example, not every country has adopted standards on the prevention of torture or the banning of various weapons against civilians.
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ATCtower
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:40 pm

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 13):
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

I also believe this was etched under the presumption that immigrants of the 2000s would be the same as those of the 1800s where self AND country improvement is a contributing factor to immigrating to the US. One is truly delusional if they believe this still holds.

Quoting Mir (Reply 14):
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

That's pretty cut and dry. If you're born in the United States, you're a citizen. Not much room for twisting there.

Part 1 of the 14th Amendment is reasonably cut and dry, but the anchor baby situation is a loophole the writers did not have to deal with when writing it and many illegal immigrants have found a way to circumvent US laws and work the system. The 14th Amendment was initially written to give citizenship to slaves released and ensure further black people born in the US would too be granted citizenship given their standing ties to the country, no matter the state's feelings on black rights. This WAS the intention of those who wrote the 14th Amendment and makes it one of the MOST IMPORTANT amendments to our Constitution. The ancillary laws/cases are what have convoluted the 14th Amendment to no end relating to things outlined in parts 2-4..

Quoting tugger (Reply 18):
I could support a change to allow it when at least one parent is here legally, whether visiting on a visa or permanent what have you.

My parents are immigrants, they were here legally with green cards when I was born. I was am the only "born American" in my family.

I think most Americans would support such a law/amendment to the Amendment. IMO, doing so would represent progress in the us legislative branch that we dont often see. What most Americans are against are the things spoken about here, ie. terrorism, anchor-baby issue, travelling to ensure citizenship. America as a whole is not opposed to immigration, on the contrary, the vast majority support immigration. LEGAL immigration.

Not that my one opinion really matters but our founding fathers did/could not have predicted people learning to work the system and exploit our laws our great country is too stupid to update with changing times.

My $.02
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Quokkas
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:38 pm

Quoting ATCtower (Reply 23):
One is truly delusional if they believe this still holds.

That is the last thing of which I could be accused. I learnt at a very early age that what people say and what people mean are not always the same. I no longer believe in the Easter Bunny or Santa Clause, for example.

Pronouncements in support of democracy while assassinating those who wanted to see it realised and celebrating the free world while supporting military dictatorships soon disabused me of any doubts. I am not even thinking of the US there. I recall the enthusiasm with which Thatcher praised Pinochet who was busily murdering opponents at the same time as she eulogised Solidarność. Free trade unions in Poland were to be supported but murdering trade unionists in Chile was acceptable.

In the same vein I am doubtful of the supposed benefits of any changes to the treatment of refugees against a clear and publicly stated desire to restrict immigration in general.



Corrected spelling mistake untagged by spell-check

[Edited 2012-11-27 10:47:09]
“Not to laugh, not to cry, not to hate, but understand.” Spinoza
 
rfields5421
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:47 pm

Quoting ATCtower (Reply 23):
I think most Americans would support such a law/amendment to the Amendment.

I disagree. People in the US really don't like changes to the constitution. Even the most conservative anti-immigrant people are going to be against an amendment to an amendment.

Senator Harry Reid - a Democrat from Nevada - introduced a bill to eliminate automatic citizenship of children of people not in the US legally - in 1993. Almost every Congressional session since has seen a similar bill introduced - and none have come to a vote.

It is not an issue for "most Americans"

Quoting ATCtower (Reply 23):
anchor-baby issue,

I'm still trying to understand the 'anchor baby' issue.

People with no legal right to live and work in the US who have a child born in the US do not automatically establish a right to be in this country.

Yes, a relatively few people do cross the border each year to have a baby in the US and for that child to be able to claim US citizenship when that child becomes an adult.

However, every year hundreds of such parents are deported for coming to this country illegally. And they take the anchor baby back to their home country with them. Some cases have been reported in the news media where five or six US citizen children have been forced to go back to Mexico with their illegal parents. Because they could not find legal guardians in the US.

Having an 'anchor baby' in the US does NOT give the parents of that child the right to live in this country.

Some 18 years later after that child is an adult and able to request immigrant status for his/her parents - they still have to prove that they have a job, can support those parents, and provide for them. Without meeting those requirements, his/her parents will not get a green card and the right to live in the US.

My next door neighbor has two children of his wife's sister living with him. Dad was picked up by ICE four years ago, and the investigation showed that Dad and Mom were both in the US illegally. They were deported. My neighbor and his wife took custody of the US citizen children (teenagers) who have never been to Mexico. Otherwise, they would have had to leave the US with their parents.

The daughter recently graduated from high school and is starting the process to hopefully get her mother into the US legally. It is expected to take three to four years. Dad can never come to the US legally because he was picked up twice before, long before the children were born, and deported. This was his 'third strike'.

----------------------------------------------------

Another factor is how to impose the burden of proof of legal right to be in the US on 'normal' US citizens. Joe Six-Pack in Podunk Arkansas - is going to have to produce his birth certificate and his parents birth certificates to establish that Joe is legally in the US, and a US citizen.

Currently if a US citizen has a child in a foreign country - it costs about $600 in fees and legal documentation - to verify and guarantee that new child US citizenship rights. Something near that cost would be imposed on the parents of every child born in the US.

Potential US citizen parents would be better off if they obtained a US passport before the child was born.

Interestingly, legal foreigners have much better proof and documentation of their right to be in this country than most native born citizens. The US has about 1/3 of its citizens with passports - legal proof of their right to be in this country.

You can say - I have my birth certificate - that is proof enough. But the law proposed by definition eliminates a birth certificate as proof of citizenship.

For you to verify your right to be in this country, without a passport, you would have to prove your parents had a legal right to be in this country.

The practical impact of such a law would be to require a federal National ID card for every legal US citizen.

Quoting ATCtower (Reply 23):
This WAS the intention of those who wrote the 14th Amendment

That is not correct.

Senator Jacob Howard who sponsored the citizenship clause made a statement that the clause would have the same effect as the Civil Rights Act of 1866. The discussion concerned the children of Ambassadors and Foreign Ministers.

Senator Lyman Turmbull and three other senators, along with President Andrew Johnson, explicitly stated that the intent of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the intend of the 14th Amendment was to grant citizenship to the children born in the US of visitors from other nations who were not Ambassadors or Foreign Ministers.

No senator objected to that statement during the hearings, debate or vote on the bill or the amendment, including Howard. The Senators knew, understood, and had no problems with visitor children being conferred citizenship.

(Note this was at a time when the concept of illegal immigration was not discussed - they might have had views on that concept - but it was not discussed.)

At the time the 14th Amendment was passed - granting 'birthright citizenship' was the normal way children of immigrants established a right to live in this nation.

Most immigrants were not given a legal right to be in this country, a great number of wives and parents never learned English. They continued to speak Italian, German, Norweigan, etc and to not deal with 'english'. Relatively few immigrants ever took steps to become US citizens, even though many votes, and some even held public office.

Most of the discussion over the citizenship clause concerned native-Americans - Indians. That was the subject of extensive discussion and debate. Somewhat interesting in that the Amendent did have a strong focus on ensuring former slaves and their children would unquestionally have full citizenship - yet at the same time they were arguing that native-Americans would not have full citizenship because being a member of an indian tribe removed them from the jurisdiction of the United States.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:51 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
What I'm most concerned about is the abuse of this law to say a pregnant female from say the middle east somehow slips through the cracks and has her baby in the US, and that baby becomes a US citizen, goes back to the middle east, is trained to be a terrorist and then has unrestricted entry to the US to do "whatever".

If they are going to go through the trouble of sneaking someone into the US, why wouldn't they just sneak in a trained (adult) terrorist instead of sneaking in a pregnant woman, having her give birth, then about 2 decades later, having the baby fulfill this plan? That's just ridiculous

I see a problem with anchor babies but the terrorism scenario is pretty far-fetched
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Birdwatching
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:51 pm

I'm German and I'd love to live and work in the US for a couple of years. I'm a high school teacher. My friend is a medical doctor and she would like to do the same, work and live in the US for a couple of years. It is extremely complicated for us (qualified, trained professionals) to get a work visa / temporary residency, while others (uneducated) either cross the border illegally and have their anchor child, or wait for a couple of years then get their status legalized, or (Cubans) set a foot on US soil and become citizens instantly.

What a ridiculous immigration policy is that! Why doesn't the US make it EASIER for trained professionals and HARDER for uneducated people? Wouldn't this make everything better in the long run?

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Dreadnought
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:53 pm

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 22):
Really? According to the UNHCR there are about 12 million people who are stateless. You may wish to disabuse those 12 millions of their incorrect thinking. If you are correct they have citizenship and are too stupid to realise it.

If you look at the UNHCR page, it describes what situations caused the statelessness.

http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c15e.html

Quote:
UNHCR estimates that about 12 million people are stateless in dozens of developed and developing countries around the world, though the exact numbers are not known. They are to be found in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe and have been a group of concern to UNHCR since its founding.

Exclusionary policies are at the root of many statelessness situations. In the Middle East and other parts of the world gender-discriminatory legislation continues to create risks of statelessness. In many of the Gulf States, populations who were left out at independence are now referred to as Bidoon, literally "without" in Arabic. Under the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, many Feili Kurds were stripped of their nationality, but this decree was repealed in 2006.

In Africa, some of the Nubian people do not enjoy citizenship rights in Kenya. And across the continent, lack of clarity on their nationality status affects large numbers of people in Côte d'Ivoire. In Europe, the break-up of the Soviet Union and the Yugoslav Federation in the 1990s led to statelessness in the new countries that emerged. The problem of state succession in both cases was compounded by large population and refugee movements. Efforts to naturalize these people and to issue nationality documentation are under way, but the situations are not yet fully resolved.

Statelessness is also an issue of UNHCR concern in the Caribbean.

There have been some success stories in recent years in Asia, where millions have received nationality in Bangladesh and Nepal. But even though Nepal achieved in 2007 the largest reduction of statelessness the world has seen, the Himalayan nation still hosts about 800,000 people whose nationality is not confirmed and who cannot access important government services without a citizenship certificate.

As I said in my earlier post,

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 16):
In fact I can't think of a way to be stateless with the exception of some big civil war where your country of origin simply no longer exists.

Remains true. The people the UNHCR is concerned about are people from POTWTACF countries which have known a lot of upheaval, or subscribe to 7th century law.

This does not apply to 99.99% of the illegal immigrants who come into the US illegally. All central American countries grant citizenship to a child whose parents are citizens, regardless of birthplace (as does the US - which is why I am a US citizen although I was born elsewhere).

Again, the argument is a red herring.
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Arrow
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:36 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 8):
One of my cousins was born in the US her mum and dad stayed there until she was ok to travel, and that's about the sum total of her time spent in the US, but she is a US citizen and has a US passport.

And because of that, she is required to file annual tax returns/1040s, submit annual FBAR reports on all her foreign (foreign meaning anywhere outside the US) bank accounts to the Treasury Department, and be subject to whatever laws the US imposes on its citizens (example: she can't go to Cuba).

Is she doing all that? There are literally tens of thousands of "accidental" Americans all over the world who are just now finding out that -- never mind that they haven't set foot in the US or left as small children -- they owe Uncle Sam tax returns (and maybe even some tax, depending on what their income is). These folks are now flocking to embassies and consulates so they can renounce this millstone of a citizenship before the IRS can suck away all their life savings through penalties on failure to file tax returns and FBARS (the vast majority of these people had no idea about this).

The US is the only country that does this -- my strong advice to anyone who has that citizenship is, either stay at home in the US or get rid of it. It's toxic for anyone who doesn't live in the homeland, you'll pay a tremendous price for it offshore.
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:41 pm

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 3):
or Chinese tourist
Quoting LAXintl (Reply 21):
its legal visitors who plan the birth of their children in US hospitals solely for the reason of acquiring US citizenship.

Yep. Check this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/29/us/29babies.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 22):
Can you provide me with an internationally recognised Palestinian Passport issued by a state called Palestine?

Try this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_Authority_passport
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Quokkas
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:10 pm

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 30):
Try this:

Thank you for the link. You will of course have recognised that the issuing of such a travel document does not imply recognition of statehood, as is made clear in the link that you provided. Even Australia is willing to issue travel documents to refugees without granting them citizenship.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 28):
If you look at the UNHCR page, it describes what situations caused the statelessness.

It provides some examples. Are you suggesting that the State of Palestine actually exists and hence there are no stateless Palestinians? If that were true there would be no point in the Palestinian Authority pursuing recognition of statehood at the UN. It is true that for some refugees Jordan offered citizenship, depending on when they became refugees, but the same courtesy was not extended in Syria or Lebanon, for example. Are Palestinians citizens of Israel (the occupying power) ? I don't recall Israel ever professing that to be the case.
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bjorn14
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:24 pm

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 31):
Are Palestinians citizens of Israel (the occupying power) ? I don't recall Israel ever professing that to be the case.

There are some 1.5MM Israeli Arab citizens. Not sure of where there origins were from.
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:29 pm

Quoting Arrow (Reply 29):

And because of that, she is required to file annual tax returns/1040s, submit annual FBAR reports on all her foreign (foreign meaning anywhere outside the US) bank accounts to the Treasury Department, and be subject to whatever laws the US imposes on its citizens (example: she can't go to Cuba).

I have no idea about the rest but she did go to Cuba a couple of years ago.
 
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:33 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Yes, this crap has got to stop with the anchor baby issue. I'm tired of seeing so many foreigners coming to the U.S. to have their babies become U.S. citizens. It puts a damper on social services and bumps actual U.S. citizens from obtaining these services that are badly needed for them more than the "anchor baby".

If a baby is born in the U.S. happens, then the citizenship is supposed to be where the parents have their citizenship at. Just because a baby is born in the U.S. does not make it a U.S. citizen, IMO.

Quoting scbriml (Reply 2):
Seriously, how is this a major issue?

Remember the Illegal Immigration debate, aka SB1040 in Arizona??
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:35 pm

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 32):
There are some 1.5MM Israeli Arab citizens.

True, absolutely and without qualification true.

However, that does not address the issue of those who are not Israeli citizens and does not address those who are stateless. My reply was simply to the assertion that "No one is Stateless" (not made by you), which is patently false.
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Quokkas
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:07 pm

Quoting Arrow (Reply 29):
There are literally tens of thousands of "accidental" Americans all over the world

If this is happening it is a very big concern. How can anyone be held liable simply by the accident of birth in a country that they don't live in and may not feel any attachment to? No one, I will repeat that, no one chooses where they are born.

Whatever other differences we may have on other issues, I think that our resident medical practitioners will agree with that.
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:14 pm

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 31):
It provides some examples. Are you suggesting that the State of Palestine actually exists and hence there are no stateless Palestinians? If that were true there would be no point in the Palestinian Authority pursuing recognition of statehood at the UN. It is true that for some refugees Jordan offered citizenship, depending on when they became refugees, but the same courtesy was not extended in Syria or Lebanon, for example.

You are using examples from POTWTACF countries. Palestinians who were removed from or left of their own volition the part of the Palestinian Mandate that became Israel were, by the UN Accord that created Israel and Jordan, Jordanian citizens. That Jordan chose not to honor that agreement in order to make a political point is the real issue on that score.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 31):
Are Palestinians citizens of Israel (the occupying power)
Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 32):
There are some 1.5MM Israeli Arab citizens. Not sure of where there origins were from.

Correct - they are the Arabs who did not succumb to the demands by the Arab powers in 1947 to flee from Israel, because they were going to gang up on Israel and destroy it. Oops. The ones who stayed are full Israeli citizens.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 35):
My reply was simply to the assertion that "No one is Stateless" (not made by you), which is patently false.

Fair enough. Let's just say that the number of truly stateless people involved in illegal immigration to the US is so small as to be completely insignificant to the overall issue.
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:27 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 20):
Why both? Let's take the anchor baby situation, but make one of the parents a legal immigrant. Is the child not going to be raised by that parent in the US regardless of what happens to the other one? And if so, why shouldn't the child be a citizen?

What I proposed would mitigate this issue, among others:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 21):
ts legal visitors who plan the birth of their children in US hospitals solely for the reason of acquiring US citizenship.

Say the father-to-be obtains some legal status. Then brings his wife over illegally and she has a child, why should that child be granted citizenship if it came about through illegal means?
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:31 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 38):
Say the father-to-be obtains some legal status. Then brings his wife over illegally and she has a child, why should that child be granted citizenship if it came about through illegal means?

Because we don't punish the child for the transgressions of the parents. If the child is going to be raised in the US and one of the parents has the legal right to be in the US, I have no problem with the child being a US citizen.

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Quokkas
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:41 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 37):
You are using examples from POTWTACF countries.

Again, this is only true in part and part of the problem is the changing relationship between Jordan and the PLO. It wasn.t simply the case that Jordan refused something but that the representatives of the Palestian people saw things differently. In the long run it could be argued that that decision was wrong but I feel that would justify another thread.

I do agree with you that the real issue of any potential changes to citizenship law in the US (which is what the thread was originally about and I apologise if my questions have deflected from that) needs to look at the primary sources of immigration (lawful or otherwise) to determine whatthe response should be. I feel that introducing the possible (but perhaps unlikely) scenrio of a plot hatched over 18-20 years to be a distraction from that.

At the same time, I do worry about the response to genuine refugees who are denied access because an irrational fear. I do know that the US, like other countries, does have qualified people to assess applications based on merit. I would hate for that to be replaced by a regime based on fear. Here in Australia we are already seeing how politicians are trying to outbid each other on the basis of fear mongering and trying to ship the problem elsewhere.

I would not wish that on anyone who wanted to escape persecution wherever it occurs.
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:52 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 33):
I have no idea about the rest but she did go to Cuba a couple of years ago.

You might want to have a chat with her about the taxes (doubt that they'll chase her retroactively on Cuba). In the last couple of years, the US has launched a jihad against offshore tax evasion. The target is rich American citizens/residents who hide money in Switzerland or the Caymans -- but caught in the net are about 7 million US expats who are living ordinary lives in other countries (often as long time tax-paying citizens of those countries). The IRS (and the politicians) don't care about the chaos this creates for the ordinary folks -- they are collateral damage and of course they can't vote (other than for president) -- but its now getting to the point where US expats have only two real choices -- go home, or ditch the citizenship.

What will bring this to a head is a piece of law called FATCA -- Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act -- passed in 2010 and scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2013. It requires ALL foreign banks to tell the IRS who among their account holders is a US citizen (or even just a former green card holder) -- and turn over to the IRS all their financial data so the IRS can chase them for taxes. If your cousin is a US citizen, she can soon expect her New Zealand bank to ask her about that -- and turn over all her account info to the IRS. The other danger is, once they know she's an American, they may just close her accounts and refuse to do business with her. This is happening all over Europe as European banks are deciding that it is far less troublesome to simply ditch all their American account holders (other than the really rich ones of course -- how's that for an irony) than risk a battle with the IRS over FATCA compliance.

If your cousin doesn't know about this -- she needs to. There is an association called American Citizens Abroad --- based in Geneva, it has been trying to tell congressmen and senators about the absolute misery this tax jihad is causing for US citizens in other countries -- but getting absolutely nowhere. Their website has a lot of info on what this is all about.
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:04 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 34):
Remember the Illegal Immigration debate, aka SB1040 in Arizona??

My question was aimed at the ludicrous "baby terrorist" theory.
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AirframeAS
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:09 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 42):
My question was aimed at the ludicrous "baby terrorist" theory.

And I was speaking in general.
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AR385
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:11 pm

Quoting Arrow (Reply 29):
And because of that, she is required to file annual tax returns/1040s, submit annual FBAR reports on all her foreign (foreign meaning anywhere outside the US) bank accounts to the Treasury Department, and be subject to whatever laws the US imposes on its citizens (example: she can't go to Cuba).

Interesting. Does that hold true also for countries that have a No-Double Taxation agreement with the US? Or have those agreements been superceded by the Acts you´ve cited?
 
AA7295
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:18 pm

Quoting Arrow (Reply 41):



You're a little wrong. I only had to start paying US taxes when I earned more than US$80,000 per year. Plus, most western countries have taxation treaties with America, thereby reducing the threat of double taxation. Plus it's not as bad as you made out.

Also, yes the terrorist threat is rare, but very possible.

What infuriates me is the Australians who pop over there and have their baby in the states and grant US citizenship. It's an archaic law not designed for modern times.

Did you know that Canada and the US are the only advanced economies that recognize birthright citizenship? The law should definitely be modified so that at least one of the parents are either a US citizen or LEGAL permanent resident.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:19 pm

Quoting Arrow (Reply 41):

If your cousin doesn't know about this -- she needs to. There is an association called American Citizens Abroad --- based in Geneva, it has been trying to tell congressmen and senators about the absolute misery this tax jihad is causing for US citizens in other countries -- but getting absolutely nowhere. Their website has a lot of info on what this is all about.

As a former expat I know a lot of people who are running into FATCA head-on. There is also the matter of expatriate Americans who married a foreigner who in turn made or inherited a lot of money. as part of FATCA, these Americans had up until this year to come forward "voluntarily", before FATCA revealed them through submitted bank records. The problem was (is) that the taxation and fines if you come forward voluntarily is insane - Once you've paid the taxes and legal fees, you'd probably have nothing left. Those few people I know of who came forward voluntarily usually in their retirement) have been utterly ruined. Now that their stories are well known, all the others are desperately trying to hide under the radar, or renouncing their US citizenship. Renuciation of US citizenship is four times greater in 2011 than in 2008, and 2012 will certainly beat that record. Everyone was hoping that if Obama were defeated FATCA would go away, but now the witchunt will continue.

By the way, we are not talking about drug dealers and criminals - we are talking about regular guys who got a job working at BMW or someplace, fell in love with a local girl and settled down.
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Arrow
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:33 pm

Quoting AR385 (Reply 44):
Interesting. Does that hold true also for countries that have a No-Double Taxation agreement with the US? Or have those agreements been superceded by the Acts you´ve cited?

All US citizens (and US "persons" -- green card holders) must file tax returns to the IRS annually, and annual FBARS (foreign Bank Account Reports) to the Treasury Department regardless of where they live (or how long they've lived there). No-Double-taxation provisions apply for countries with bilateral tax treaties (Canada is the only significant one) -- but those are not in anyway foolproof.

An American living and working (and paying taxes) in Canada can take advantage of a couple of "no double tax" provisions -- the FEIE (Foreign Earned Income Exclusion) gives a US$95K deduction, and the Foreign Tax Credit lets him use tax paid in his country of residence to offset any US tax that might be owing. But if you make more than 95K, you'll pay tax to both countries on that, and you'll pay US (and Canadian of course) tax on any investment income, capital gains etc. The forms and procedures, however, are so complex that most US expats will spend $2-3000 a year in legal/accounting fees just to calculate that they don't owe Uncle Sam any money -- and the IRS won't let you deduct that $3000 expense because it was paid in a foreign country!

What's dangerous now is that all these tax-jihadist Congresscritters -- the ones that foisted FATCA on the world -- are busy introducing bills to take away those benefits, and force US citizens offshore to pay double tax on all their income regardless of source -- never mind that this would violate the provisions of most of the US tax treaties; that doesn't matter to them.

It's a mess.
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Dreadnought
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:37 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 45):
You're a little wrong. I only had to start paying US taxes when I earned more than US$80,000 per year. Plus, most western countries have taxation treaties with America, thereby reducing the threat of double taxation. Plus it's not as bad as you made out.

You may only owe taxes from that point onwards, but you still have to file.

Regardless, the point Arrow was making is that if you are a US Person (not only citizens, but basically anyone who has ever been issued a social security number is a US person), the your bank in Australia or Germany or wherever is obligated to send over all your bank records - what you make and what you spend - to the IRS. If you file taxes jointly in either country (and most people do because it's simpler), then your spouse is also involved, and if they think that maybe you have more money than your US returns indicate (let's say your wife inherits some money or is a well-paid professional), the IRS will go after you.

And remember, with the IRS you are guilty until proven innocent.
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AirframeAS
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RE: Should The US End Birthright Citizenship?

Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:16 pm

How is FATCA enforced in foreign countries that U.S. has no jurisdiction in?? I'm curious. It seems to be that private banks based in other countries are not subject to U.S. laws...... Can someone explain to me how the IRS is going after ex-pats who use foreign banks, living in those countries?? That makes no sense to me.
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