THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
American Citizens Abroad, an advocacy group promoting the interests of overseas Americans, has written a letter to Congress reminding them of the ongoing need to address problems faced by Americans living abroad beyond the pandemic.
The letter is in response to two actions taken by Senators during 2020 to address issues affecting overseas Americans. The first was an announcement by Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) and Congressman Castro (D-TX) in April, confirming legislation which was designed to expand protections for Americans overseas during the pandemic.. The second was a letter sent by Senators Feinstein (D-CA), Klobuchar (D-MN), Menendez (D-NJ) and Wyden (D-OR) to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in June, calling for measures to ensure Americans living abroad could vote in the 2020 Elections.
The ACA's letter to these Senators says that while the organization applauds "these efforts to help Americans overseas who wish to repatriate and to guarantee those living and working overseas their right to vote in the upcoming elections" ... "it should not take a time of crisis or a pandemic for Congress to turn its attention to overseas Americans." Continuing, the ACA's letter says that "For far too long Americans overseas, their issues and problems relating to US policy, legislation and regulation, have not been given the serious consideration they deserve by Congress."
Explaining why they chose to send the letter, ACA Executive Director Marylouise Serrato said that "We have champions in the Senate and the House who support efforts on behalf of Americans overseas ... however, the time has come for the entire Congress to be made aware of the problems and have these problems put on record so that legislative and regulatory solutions can be found."
Jonathan Lachowitz, ACA Chairman, added that "The experience of overseas Americans with the CARES Act legislation clearly shows that the laws, regulations and systems governing Americans overseas need to be fixed and reformed ... the time to hold hearings has come and Congress has an obligation to do this for the 6 to 8 million Americans living overseas."