Sunday, April 25, 2010

Diaspora Engagement Policy and dual citizenship

Expatriates are now relinquishing US Citizenship
For U.S. citizens, cutting ties with their native land is a drastic and irrevocable step. But as Overseas American Week, a lobbying effort by expatriate-advocacy groups, convenes in Washington this week, it's one that an increasing number of American expats are willing to take. According to government records, 502 expatriates renounced U.S. citizenship or permanent residency in the fourth quarter of 2009 — more than double the number of expatriations in all of 2008. And these figures don't include the hundreds — some experts say thousands — of applications languishing in various U.S. consulates and embassies around the world, waiting to be processed. While a small number of Americans hand in their passports each year for political reasons, the new surge in permanent expatriations is mainly because of taxes.
Policies that try to extract obligations such as taxing expatriates can be seen as a type of diaspora engagement policy. However, extracting obligations without cultivating and extending rights to the diaspora may have negative impacts. For more on diaspora engagement policy, see Gamlen (2008).

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