Friday, December 09, 2005

To Be or Not to Be an American

A friend to this ground, and liegeman to the Dane, has asked in the nicest possible way (through baldfaced -- and highly welcome -- bribery) that a question be posed to the Two or Three Gathered in My Name (a concept he is pleased to call "the Jingosphere," which monicker I like so much I want to hug it and squeeze it and name it George).

Here, then, is our friend's question:

If you were in a mixed marriage (Canadian and United Statian) and faced with the decision, would you, if he were not already a citizen, apply for U.S. citizenship for your five-year-old son? Would the draft figure in your thinking? Or would Canadian-by-birth be good enough for your kids, despite the possible advantages of dual citizenship?

Me, I'm torn. You got your pros and then on the other hand you got your cons. I've known dual-citizen kids, but their dualities spanned widely disparate countries like Sweden and Pakistan, and their choices were stark. One kid I knew didn't dare set foot in his native Uruguay for fear of being snapped up by the Uruguayan Army for compulsory military service -- this in a time when Uruguay was a nasty military dictatorship. This one's much more, what's the word, nuanced.

So we're throwing it out to (wait for it!) the Jingosphere. (God, isn't it wonderful?)

Please post your thoughts in the Comments section.


Sluggo said...

5 years ago (when the oldest was 9 and the youngest was 3) it was inertia alone that kept us from filing the papers... so sad that it is no longer a no-brainer, since W.

Bobby Lightfoot said...

Canadian all the way- fewer dirty looks when they travel.

roncvex- to anger someone with an electric razor.

Derryl Murphy said...

A friend moved here from Texas when he was 9. He decided when he was approaching draft age (even though there was no draft) to become solely a Canucklehead. I do know that folks are less antagonistic towards us; even when I just lived in the US, I got bad vibes from some folk.

Mind you, I also got some of that from Americans because I was a Canadian.


Kevin Wolf said...

Had I the family connections or any other grounds to do so, I'd try for dual citizenship. If not, guess I'd "stay American."

Sometimes I think I'd kill for Irish or other citizenship if only to have more options.

qdygfe - OK, so Col. Muammar Qdygfe DID offer me citizenship in Libya but that one I turned down.

XTCfan said...

Given the combination, I'd see no particular advantage to American citizenship for my hypothetical son. The more I learn aboot Canada, the more I like it ... given the U.S.'s religious and political leanings, and the trend of global warming, the Great White North is looking better all the time.

Plus, we in the U.S. have to worry about bbufshfw

Matt said...

Is this a trick question?

helmut said...

I, an American, wish to live in France again. My wife, who is French, prefers to stay in the US. Dual citizenship makes it possible for us to choose our mess.

I say always go for multiple citizenship. As many as you can.

Devil's Rancher said...

You know, I would have preferred "Neddisphere."

drkvxe-- those who inhabit the demimonde of the Neddisphere.

(Canadian citizenship should do just fine.)

momula said...

This "choice" makes me uneasy. I feel like you should just go with what you're born with, like blue eyes or red hair or a crooked nose.
On the other hand, I've heard that US colleges are better than Canadian colleges, and if you're talking about becoming an "international" student, maybe it all comes down to the dineros.

jrfcapyb - the disguise you wear to pass as a Canadian

Campaspe said...

If a devout lurker may offer an opinion, here is mine. Your friend should get as many sets of papers as possible. (Ours are American and French; we are living in Canada at the moment.) If there should be a U.S. draft, it should be possible to avoid it well before he comes of age, if you have the proper permissions to up & move to Canada. Mr. Lightfoot's point can be addressed by traveling on the Canadian passport. And as Momula says, the child might benefit from American citizenship even if he is living in Canada, should he want to attend a U.S. university.

Mr. Bush will not be president forever. It only seems that way.