Just look at the numbers. How many people spend their whole lives trying to get here versus leaving?
So what does it tell you when people are willing to give up their citizenship to, what used to be, the best country on earth?
It may seem like a drop in the bucket, especially when droves want to immigrate to America. Still, the newly published names of individuals who renounced their U.S. citizenship or terminated long-term U.S. residency is up, with 576 for the quarter and 1,577 so far this year. The growing trend is a sad one as Record Numbers of Americans Are Renouncing Their U.S. Citizenship.
For all the immigrant arrivals, the trickle the other direction is becoming more pronounced. The tally was 2,999 for all of 2013, a 221% increase over the 932 who left in 2012. The Treasury Department is required to publish a quarterly list, a kind of public outing putting Americans on notice of who relinquished their rights. Consular expatriations, where people don’t file exit tax forms with the IRS, are apparently not counted.
Indeed, the Treasury Department’s published list states explicitly this is just those about whom the Secretary of the Treasury has data. It means these numbers are under-stated, some say considerably. Although tax law used to impact how one is taxed on departing the U.S., is no longer relevant why someone expatriates.