How a popular phrase is changing how people view American citizenship
It's no secret that the the process of obtaining American citizenship is not an easy one. After living in America for 15 years, William Han is still waiting to be granted the citizenship that he applied for.
During the years he's spent here, William has invested his time and money in his future in America, obtaining degrees from two Ivy League schools. While Han often introduces himself as an "honorary American," he is actually considered to be a citizen of New Zealand.
Han always glorified America as a child, but when it came to the citizenship process, this is what he had to say: "When the rest of the world sends America its best and brightest, America says 'Go away.'"
While this American mentality is clear to non-citizens, it seems that citizens are picking up on the negative energy and mentality, as well. On the contrary of William's efforts, this past year, between January and March of 2015, a record number of 1,336 Americans renounced their U.S. citizenship.
Although the American negativity towards aspiring citizens is prevalent, a survey showed that the renouncement of citizenship was mostly due to a disappointment in the high taxes.
With that being said, aspiring citizens such as William admit to tossing around the phrase "honorary American" when referring to themselves, instilling a sense of belonging for non-citizens who are still awaiting validation for official citizenship.
While people are continuing to renounce their American citizenship, there are several overarching issues that come with this territory. First and foremost, the phrase "honorary American" needs to be phased out from our language and mentalities because citizenship and deportation are real and undying, constantly causing anxiety for non-citizens.
Additionally, while high taxes and income issues will always be a source of contention for Americans, political authority figures need to take a deeper look into the renunciation rates because it will only continue to become a larger issue as time goes on. It's vital to look at the wide spectrum of issues that surround American citizenship, dissect the things we can change, and take action on them.
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