First Rep. Michele Bachmann renounced the Swiss citizenship she acquired through her husband, insisting that "I am, and always have been, 100% committed to our United States Constitution and the United States of America.” Then it was reported that Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, a native of Brazil, had filed papers to renounce his American citizenship before the company went public, a step that apparently will redound to his financial benefit -- after he pays as much as $150 million in exit taxes.
Saverin, who has retained Brazilian citizenship, has been excoriated for un-Americanizing himself. In the Nation, a left-leaning publication, Ilyse Hogue fumes: "In making this decision, the Brazilian native did more than expose his blind disregard for all that his adopted country has done for him. He has made himself the poster child for the callous class of 1 percenters who are all too happy to use national resources to enrich themselves, and then skate, or cry foul, when asked to pay their fair share."
Hogue didn't object in the article to the idea of Saverin holding both U.S. and Brazilian citizenship. Bachmann, however, clearly calculated that her second passport would prove a political liability. Her statement implied that a dual citizen would be less than "100% committed to the United States." But do many Americans feel that way? Given arguments about the constitutionality of "birthright" citizenship, it's surprising that dual citizenship has not become much of a political issue, except in fringe circles.