Why I won’t get US citizenship for my daughter

Donald Trump pointing at the camera

The Popple was born in Britain, so despite having American parents, she’s British. Adrian and I always intended to get her American citizenship too, but because it involves a fee, paperwork and a day spent at the US embassy in Edinburgh, we kept putting it off.

‘We’ll do it eventually,” we said.

Now I’m not so sure that we will. I’m not convinced that US citizenship is worth much these days.

It hurts me to say that. American made me, after all. It’s where the Popple’s grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins live. It’s a country of rich diversity, amazing food and the most wonderful things, like drive-thru liquor stores and giant grinning peanut statues. It brims with confidence and relentless ambition.

But the country I left a decade ago has become almost unrecognisable to me. Like Britain, it has made a monumental decision based largely on ignorance and fear – especially of immigrants.

So I’m just going to come out and say it.

I am an immigrant.

It’s not a title that I’ve really owned until now. I tend to refer to myself as an expat, which is a term that white, English-speaking foreigners have the privilege of using when they want to sound non-threatening. But there’s no mistaking what I am.

Immigrant (noun): a person who migrates to another country, usually for permanent residence

Immigrants contribute to communities. Pay taxes. Love our adopted countries with a fierceness that native-born citizens can rarely muster.

Forget building walls and banning Muslims. We are not your enemy. We are your friends, colleagues and neighbours. Don’t push us away.

I am also a woman.

A woman who doesn’t understand how any woman could hear Trump brag about grabbing women’s pussies and think, “Yeah, that’s the guy I want leading my country.”

You can’t be a “president for all Americans” if you don’t show respect at least half of them.

I am a mother.

A mother who has to face the fact that it’s better to raise my daughter in post-Brexit Britain than Trump’s America. A dangerous idea is less frightening than a dangerous person who is full of dangerous ideas.

But I have hope.

Just the tiniest sliver of it, but still – it’s there.

There are loads of sane people in America. Half the country, at least. Many of them are devastated by the election result, but they’re not giving up. They’re still talking about the issues that matter – women’s rights, climate change, the economy, healthcare – and they’re not going to go away quietly.

So get ready, Trump. We’re not going to make this easy.

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29 Replies to “Why I won’t get US citizenship for my daughter”

  1. I am sorry that you had to write this post; I am glad that you can see a positive – a light at the end of the tunnel. There are indeed many logical, sound thinkers un America who look for equality and selflessness rather than only looking after their individual needs. These people will come out fighting because that is what has happened before. Good defeats evil.

  2. This is a brilliant post Katie. So well written. Lots of love to you xx

  3. Really powerful post. Something that will resonate with so many people the world over. #stayclassy

  4. Every single thing I have read online has been anti-Trump. I just can’t get my head around how he won! #StayClassyMama

  5. I cried last night, and I am an Australian citizen, I was hocked that I cried, but I did, as a woman who has been raped and beaten by a person I knew because he couldn’t hear NO I am so saddened by the fact that any woman or man would vote for a man who seems to think a woman has no rights, that women are happy to have their pussy grabbed by man jus because he is a so called “star”. He insults women and makes men look pathetic. And I could never look my children in the eye and say I voted for Trump! Why would anyone want him as a role model? Our leaders should be people we are happy to see our children look up to, not someone who is ignorant and has no moral compass. Sorry for going on I am just disappointed. One of my best friends who saw what I went through and is now an American citizen voted for Trump, I feel, oh I don’t even know what I feel, just sad. #stayclassymama

  6. Oh, I was so interested to read this post when it dropped into my email box. I was so interested in your view as a woman and an Amercian. It’s just a devastating result and I can not imagine how your family are feeling. I love your positivity of hope and it will be an interesting few months as things unfold #ablogginggoodtime

  7. Such a powerful post! I think that is such a good mindset – to think that there is at least half the country who didn’t want Trump! That has got to be a good thing! #ablogginggoodtime

  8. This is a really trying time for us rational Americans who are blown away and saddened beyond belief that Trump is the leader of our nation…but believe in the democratic process and believe in raising our small humans to respect their country, leaders as well as the domocratic process that we are so grateful to have regardless of the turnout. Hopeing against all hope that we proves us educated liberals wrong. I read a great quote this morning.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BMl3E6CgVk3/

    I dont WANT him to fail- like I dont want the pilot to crash the plane that my babies are on.

    I dont WANT to respect him – but I want my very young children to respect leaders. The second he goes against at reason and rational of course that shit will go right out the window.

    Scared for us yes- I just can not project that fear onto my littles who are listening to my every single word…

    Peace and love lady 🙂

    #ablogginggoodtime

  9. This is a really trying time for us rational Americans who are blown away and saddened beyond belief that Trump is the leader of our nation…but believe in the democratic process and believe in raising our small humans to respect their country, leaders as well as the domocratic process that we are so grateful to have regardless of the turnout. Hopeing against all hope that we proves us educated liberals wrong. I read a great quote this morning.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BMl3E6CgVk3/

    I dont WANT him to fail- like I dont want the pilot to crash the plane that my babies are on.

    I dont WANT to respect him – but I want my very young children to respect leaders. The second he goes against at reason and rational of course that shit will go right out the window.

    Scared for us yes- I just can not project that fear onto my littles who are listening to my every single word…

    Peace and love lady 🙂

    #ablogginggoodtime

  10. My worry is that Trump doesn’t seem to like to be told: no. A heartfelt post. Difficult times. Alison x #StayClassyMama

  11. Such a heartfelt, powerful post and very interesting to read too. I have followed the news closely this last few days and it’s such a worry, not just for America but for all of us. I’m hoping that things improve somehow! #stayclassymama

  12. Its a scary time for a lot of people. I’m holding out hope that much of his rhetoric was designed to appeal to a certain group of people and that things won’t be as bad as we fear #blogginggoodtime

  13. He has the presidency in lock- now let us all hope that his horrid plans and games were to do just that. For once be the bullshitter that you appear to be Donald. Please.

    (visiting again over from #stayclassymama)

  14. He has the presidency in lock- now let us all hope that his horrid plans and games were to do just that. For once be the bullshitter that you appear to be Donald. Please.

    (visiting again over from #stayclassymama)

  15. I can entirely understand why you feel that way, and it’s so sad. I find it baffling how a man so full of hatred has made it into that position. Like you say, surely women should have had have more self respect?! We are definitely living in turbulent times. Let’s hope it’s not as bad as we are expecting. #ablogginggoodtime

  16. I think we have to have hope as the alternative is too depressing. Really interesting to read your perspective on it #StayClassyMama

  17. First Brexit, then Trump. It’s a scary world we’re raising our children in right now. But you are right, just because the angry votes are stacking up against us doesn’t mean we should stop fighting for a peaceful, fair and just future for our children. #Stayclassymama

  18. Great post but you know things change especially generation by generation. Maybe she could decide when she is older? Or do you have to apply when they are young? Lets hope for a better future #stayclassymama

  19. Difficult times. I hope it will not be as bad for America as we are all thinking at the moment ! So many people did vote for Hillary , so let’s hope those people continue to fight for change. One day your daughter will be also proud to be a US citizen #stayclassymama

  20. Great post. Can only imagine how angry you feel, I’m not American and I’m angry about it all. Let’s hope he doesn’t do too much damage over the next 4 years… #stayclassymama

  21. We went to America a couple for a holiday before the election and I was stunned by the contrast in opinions but what struck me more was the panic that he could actually win and the general anxiety of how the world would perceive America and Americans if they did. It was fascinating. #ablogginggoodtime

  22. What a predicament you’re in. I’m sorry this is something you’re having to write about. #EatSleepBlogRT

  23. Such great writing! Despite all that’s going on, America is still on my bucket list to visit and Trump won’t be president forever #eatsleepblogrt x

  24. I’d get the visa. You don’t know what US and UK will be like in 20 years or longer

  25. As an EXPAT I find the distinction we make for white mostly English/American people uncomfortable. I have been party to conversations where people are slagging off immigrants only to remind them that I am too! Such a Great post ad it’s very passionate and thought provoking 🌟 Thank you for linking up to #EatSleepBlogRT

  26. And it’s in times like these that I long to be an expat. I see why on earth would you make your babe a US citizen? I am an embarassed one. But, we are putting up a fight and as you say, will not make this easy for him! Bravo post! #EatSleepBlogRT

  27. HELL TO THE YEAH! Awesome post and i hope he has a hell of a rough time! Like i said months ago I should have run!
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime

  28. Good for you. I wrote a post about the election this week although it was from a slightly different stand point & why I can’t worry about it… #ablogginggoodtime

  29. I could have sworn I commented on this! Glad I popped back to check. The whole thing is just shocking and depressing and I’m so sorry that you feel this way (but totally get you). Still in shock a week later. #stayclassymama

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