Record numbers of Americans are giving up their U.S. citizenship.
They’re turning their allegiance to another nation at more than five times the rate of a decade ago -- including 2,300 people in the last quarter of 2016, when Donald Trump was elected president.
In all, more than 5,400 people left the U.S. last year. That was 26 percent higher than the year before. A decade ago, it was less than 1,000 people annually.
Some leave because the U.S. tax code requires Americans abroad to file extensive IRS paperwork. Others reject birth nation as a matter of protest.
The statistics are found in a new report by the Internal Revenue Service.
Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies says she’s left “speechless” by the exodus of unhappy Americans.
“My view is, don’t let the screen door hit you on the way out,” Vaughan says. “Let more people do it if they don’t want to be citizens – but I hope they’ll think very carefully about what they’re doing and why.”
Vaughan says the renunciations are in contrast to the far greater numbers of people on the outside looking in.
But as outlets as diverse as US News and Breitbart Texas have noted, there are more than 8 million Americans who live overseas but retain their U.S. citizenship – meaning the exit of 5,000 people is less than 1 percent of the total number of Americas who live abroad.
“This is a drop in the bucket compared to the number of people who are trying to come live in the United States – either legally or illegally, or as guest workers,” she says.