- Immigration Attorney Questions Why Some US Citizens Feel Cut Off From The Political Process
I received a call this week from a potential client who started off by asking me if I handle emigration, not immigration. I told him honestly that the issue had never come up for me, but that I’d be happy to discuss the subject with him over the phone. He then proceeded to tell me he wanted to leave the United States and abandon his citizenship, but he didn’t want to lose his property. He had been informed that his property would escheat to the federal government if he did so leave.
I don’t judge people generally, and I certainly not potential clients, so I didn’t ask him why he wanted to both leave the country and abandon his citizenship, but he volunteered the information anyway. He explained how he feels like a stranger in his own country, afraid of race-based violence and reverse discrimination and the direction our country is headed politically. When he mentioned the rate of illegal immigration from Mexico and I retorted that currently Mexican immigration is at net zero as a result of the administration’s vigorous efforts to find and remove certain aliens, he quickly thanked me and ended the conversation. I can only assume he realized I did not share his views.
This new blog promises to be more about asking the right questions and not necessarily providing answers. So here’s a question to start it off. What does it say about our democracy if our citizens feel like their views, however extreme, cannot be expressed through our political process? Is it time for the United States to consider a parliamentary system where our citizens vote for a party that most closely represents their views and if that party garners enough votes, its representatives get a seat (or seats) in parliament? Would a system that allowed more diverse voices to be heard in government stop the flow of emigration?
David T. Cox is a St Louis Immigration Attorney