15 August 2011

Email to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Dear Sir,

My name is Alan Bonnici and I am President of Stars And Stripes Malta, an organisation that represents and helps Americans living in Malta. We are considerably distraught at cost cutting exercises directed at those US citizens who cost our nation the least; we pay taxes to the United States yet are not entitled to many of the benefits available to those living within the United States. While our decision to reside in a country other than the United States is our fundamental right, I can assure you that many would rather be standing on US soil and be part of the US way of life but are prevent from doing so because of economic, social and personal reasons.

Before, whenever one of our members decided to return back home s/he has an easily accessible place to do so. If certain paperwork was missing and a question was not clearly understood the local consular office was there to help. The process was short and efficient. Now a person has to deal with someone sitting on the other side of the globe, in a different time zone and with no idea about the conditions that prevail in the country the application is being raised from.

There are many issues that might cause a citizen to want to relocate back to the United States with his/her family. Termination of employment, health and civil unrest are three that come to mind. Can you imagine the hardship and risk to life and limb such delays may result in? I see this as being a step in the wrong direction and any perceived savings are nothing but perceived. In fact I personally believe that in the short run, these changes will end up costing the tax payer much more because of logistical problems that stem from some of the points I have already noted in  my email.

I therefore ask you to please reverse  your decision. If there is anyone else my organisation can appeal to, please forward me their contact details so that we can put reverse this short-sighted and unjust decision.

Kind Regards,
Alan C. Bonnici
Stars And Stripes Malta

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