Poll: Dual Citizenship Not So Bad, But Most Wouldn't Switch

Image: Poll: Dual Citizenship Not So Bad, But Most Wouldn't Switch

Monday, 07 Oct 2013 07:35 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Most Americans -- eighty-six percent -- remain proud of their country, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports poll.

It's not that Americans are unrealistic about the challenges the country faces. While seventy-four percent are proud of America's history, according to the poll, almost half thought the Founding Fathers would be disappointed with the way the country has turned out.

Nearly half of those surveyed, in fact, believe Americans should be able to hold dual citizenship with another country.

Nevertheless, fifty-nine percent still believe in American exceptionalism -- that there is something special about the United States.

The idea of trading their U.S. citizenship for that of another country is anathema to most, with only 9 percent saying that they have considered giving up on America. During the second quarter of 2013, just over 1,000 Americans expatriated mostly for tax reasons, according to Forbes.

Some countries, including Greece and Israel, require their citizens to give up any other citizenship if they become elected officials or serve in the diplomatic corps. Andreas Papandreou had to renounce his U.S. citizenship to become the Prime Minister of Greece.

Between 3 million and 6 million Americans are said to currently live abroad.

Nearly half of those surveyed believe Americans should be able to be citizens of more than one country. In fact, "U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one citizenship or another," according to the State Department. Just 4 percent of the Rasmussen sampling said they currently citizens of another country.

As for illegal immigrants who go on to become citizens, 54 percent said they should not be allowed to maintain dual citizenship. Republicans and older people tend to hold stricter views about dual citizenship than Democrats and independents.

About a quarter of those surveyed believed it is too easy for a foreigner to become a U.S. citizen. And most oppose granting automatic citizenship to the child of an illegal mother who gives birth here.

When done within the law, though, 68 percent think immigration is good for America.

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