According to one site, the U.S. State Department estimates that around 6.6 million Americans live overseas. Just in case it doesn’t occur to you, that means that they are either diplomats or immigrants in other countries. Immigrants. There are Americans who are immigrants in other countries. They are either treated as guests with some form of permanent or temporary residency, or else they are permanent resident aliens heading towards naturalization in their host country.
For various reasons these Americans have chosen to live in other countries. For some it is a matter of business, for others it is an adventure and for still others it is a mission from God. Motives vary, but their nationality is the same. They come from Hawaii, Nebraska, Texas, New Hampshire and pretty much every other state in the Union. Some are from families that moved to the U.S. where they were born or else acquired citizenship, but many come from families who have roots going back generations in North America.
For a time I was counted as one of them. I was an expatriate American. Living in Brazil for nearly three years, when I moved there I had no intention of ever leaving, except for brief visits to the United States. Unfortunately, finances and circumstances conspired to cut short my time there.
U.S. citizens who live in the United States don’t appreciate the courtesy being extended to their fellow citizens in other countries. We are able to move to most any country in the world we choose, if we are willing to work within that system to do so. Sadly, the United States is not like this towards people of other nations who would like to move here. I know many good, honest, hard working Brazilians who would make a real contribution and be true assets to the United States in their own ways, but because the U.S. immigration process is so screwed up, they are unable to make the move.
The hospitality we receive, we are unwilling to extend in return to other. This sin saddens me deeply.