Friday poll: Citizenship

Some of you may not know this about me, but I’m Canadian.

I know, I know.


  1. I was just thinking of all the great constitutional protections I would have as a citizen….wait, never mind.

  2. Silly Steve,

    Citizens of U.S. states _are_ citizens of the U.S. My goodness. Next you’ll be suggesting I renounce California citizenship to become a U.S. citizen.

  3. Steve, are you crazy? Now that Conrad Black thinks he can come back, everybody wants to change their citizenship. Sheesh …

  4. We need all the sane people we can get in this country.

  5. I’m leaving it as a problem for the reader to deduce whether comment #4 means Steve should or shouldn’t become a citizen.

  6. Steve,

    Tell us, what are the advantages? What are the disadvantages?

  7. Good question, Ronan. Chief advantage is to receive the additional constitutional protections of citizenship, such as due process of law and being able to avoid summary deportation.

    Disadvantages: you tell me.

  8. If I may quote from a recently released album by a true musical genius:

    Don’t wanna be a Canadian idiot
    Won’t figure out their temperature in Celsius
    See the map, they’re hoverin’ right over us
    Tell you the truth, it makes me kinda nervous

    Canadian Idiot, “Weird” Al Yankovic

    Isn’t it true that like 75% of Canada’s population live within a couple hundred miles of the US border? Go on, make the switch from North American to simply American.

  9. Steve,

    Your “advantages” suggest to me that you’re a terrorist or something.

    Disadvantage: having to pledge allegiance to the US flag.

    (N.B. I have nothing against such a pledge, if you’re American. But if you love another country (Canada, England) and feel loyalty to it, I just cannot see how you can do this without feeling queasy.)

  10. Ouch, dude. I could sing God Save the Queen without flinching.

  11. Should Steve become a U.S. Citizen?

    What, and give up all that rich Canadian cultural heritage?

  12. Stapers,

    Sure. But could you pledge your loyalty to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors?

    I, [name], [swear by Almighty God] [do solemnly and truly declare and affirm] that, on becoming a British citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs, and successors, according to law.

    I will give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms. I will uphold its democratic values. I will observe its laws faithfully and fulfil my duties and obligations as a British citizen.

    If I had been born and bred an American, this would stick in my craw.

    Becoming an American citizen ain’t like getting a driver’s licence. For one thing, you Yanks take a dim view of dual citizenship, which means you really have to choose one or the other. I just couldn’t reject Her Majesty :)

  13. No, you can be a dual citizen if one of them is U.S. After alI, I AM!! Maybe it’s the UK that doesn’t let you poms do it.

  14. um…in light of the enemy detention determination…you could already considered suspicious…

  15. Steve
    If you ask your sisters (who were all born in Canada like you) I expect you would get different responses. Only one took the step to US citizenship and the other one resident in the US is adamantly still a Canadian, with no plan to become an American, nothwithstanding her husband and four boys all being US born. I worry about the reality of the reasons you give, as Canadians do get due process under US law and unless we have a criminal or terrorist record would not be summarily deported or jailed, unless they didn’t like how I look. I wonder if your reason is strong enough to take the step and leave behind your deep Canadian roots which are well entrenched. Consider the naming of your new son after a former Prime Minister of Canada and the wonder he would have later in his life when he asks you the question – Why? I appreciate that you studied extensively in the US, but also in France. Your question of taking on citizenship is puzzling, when you consider it would take several years for the paperwork to make it happen. What does Sumer think?

  16. mea MAXIMUS culpa! Here’s the link for #14:

  17. I grew up in Calgary, Canada, married a U.S. citizen, then applied for citizenship five years later (took the oath during the 2000 recount). My main motivation was…I would never have to return to the INS office. I’m embarrassed to say that. Another reason (albeit unlikely): once in a while, politicians talk about denying U.S. citizenship to babies whose parents are not BOTH U.S. citizens. Stuff like that. I didn’t want our son to have to mess with that. So I took the oath, knowing I would still be considered a Canadian citizen in Canada. Today, I have mixed feelings. I wish I hadn’t rushed into it. Over the past five years, I have come to appreciate my home and native land more than I did before. However, I’m sure the naturalization process has grown even more difficult since 9/11, so perhaps it’s good that I got the fees and mounds of paperwork overwith. So… I would say, be really, really sure it’s what you want. You can’t recant after the fact, as far as I know. Oh, and be prepared for my favorite application question: Do you intend to practice polygamy in the U.S.?

  18. Of course, Joanne, nobody, but nobody, has to go the INS anymore. Because it changed its name to USCIS. But it’s the same old gas.

    And, the question about polygamy is on the application for permanent residence. You’ll never get to apply for natz if you haven’t already answered that question right.

    Dual citizenship is a possibility, if the Canucks allow it. The US generally does now, so long as there’s reciprocity.

    But all we need is one more lousy foreigner coming in and ruining this country that God gave to us alone. I know that because I heard Lou Dobbs say it was so.

    And where’s that fence to keep the lousy Canucks out??

  19. Oh, one more thing: US Estate Taxes!

  20. I work with several people who are dual citizens – US and Canadian, so it’s possible. i don’t know their back story, or how they got it though.

    The good thing about being a Canadian though, is I think it’s easier to emigrate to Australia. And maybe work in the EU?

    The bad thing about retaining your Canadian citizenship is that you’d have to retain that massive chip on your shoulder and inferiority/holier-than-thou complex. it must be so burdensome. ;-)

  21. Steve Evans says:

    meems, the chip/complex have little to do with my citizenship.

  22. heh!

  23. Aaron Brown says:

    What’s “Canada”? Isn’t it just that imaginary country Parker and Stone dreamed up for that South Park movie?

    Aaron B

  24. Aaron B, I’m not totally sure, but I think that’s correct.

    Whenever I hear the word “Canada” I get this vague sensation that I ought to be blaming it for something. Steve perhaps?

  25. Absolutely Steve. My wife is American and she now has her Canadain citizenship. What you want to do is make that silly border disappear for you and your family and give yourself more options. I for own believe that we should be working on getting rid of the US/Canada border and have what they have in Europe; a truely free exchange of goods and people…

  26. I was once in a discussion with the missionaries where they were teaching a French Jewish woman. She lives in New York City and said after many years she changed to U.S. citizenship. She said this was not an easy decision for her at all.

    She said being baptized in a new faith would be a similarly hard decision.

    Let me tell you, hearing her bring up this comparison of the two processes (on her own initiative) brought a whole new meaning to my concept of “fellowcitizens and Saints” or however the scripture says it.

  27. Personally, I do not feel any loyalty toward countries that would prevent me from making a change on paper if that change made my life more convenient. I have been eligible for other citizenships, but just from countries that would ask for my American passport in response, and let’s face it, travelling with a US passport is much more convenient than many others, although I assume Canada is pretty good, too. I assume duel citizenship is an option, so go for it if you want.

    Citizenship is hardly a part of your eternal nature, after all.

  28. Wait a minute!

    Canada is a foreign country?

    No wonder it didn’t show up on last elections red-state vs. blue-state map.

  29. Upside to becoming a U.S. Citizen: the top part of your head becomes attached to the bottom part of your head so it doesn’t flop aboot when you talk.

    Downside: I would guess that eating becomes a bit more tedious what with the decreased bite capacity.

  30. D. Fletcher says:

    Steve, in all seriousness, do you have to do it for the twins’ sake? Is it better to be a citizen of the same country as your children?

    (I don’t know the answer, never having been faced with a choice of citizenship, or different citizenship from my wife and children, or even children at all.)

  31. D., it would eliminate any risk of being politically/nationally separated…

  32. It appears that the yays and nays are tied at 35%. I didn’t cast my vote yet.

    I just can’t decide.