THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
The Joe Biden-Kamala Harris campaign for the Presidency of the United States has released a letter written to "All Americans Residing Abroad".
In the letter, released by Democrats Abroad, the Biden-Harris campaign write that "it is vital that we ensure every single American voter has the chance to make their voice heard - and to make sure that it is counted - including the millions of American citizens residing outside the United States."
The letter goes on to highlight ways in which the campaign is responding to concerns among overseas Americans on a range of issues, including citizenship services. The campaign pledges to "rebuild a modern, agile Department of State and invest in and re-empower the finest diplomatic corps in the world across the board. That includes reducing the processing times for visas and ensuring equal treatment with respect to citizenship, naturalization, and immigration proceedings for same-sex couples and their children, including those adopted or born abroad."
The Biden-Harris letter also goes on to say that "A Biden-Harris Administration will work in partnership with you on all the issues that impact your lives and well-being as Americans residing abroad, including reviewing the barriers to accessing banking and financial services. My campaign has made it a priority to engage with you, and that will remain true throughout a Biden-Harris Administration."
Concluding, the letter writes that "Each of you serves as an ambassador for our nation, representing the best of our American culture and democratic values. You build connections that help promote our interests and support our economic vitality. Your voices matter. Your issues are American issues."
The letter signals a further focus on overseas Americans in the run up to the Presidential Election. In early September, the Republicans Overseas organizations wrote a letter to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, asking for an Executive Order to provide "Tax Regulatory Relief for Overseas Americans". The letter asked for small businesses to be exempt from GILTI and Transition taxes, proposed the creation of a Commission on Overseas Americans to "consider remedies for the harms done to Americans abroad via onerous regulations such as FATCA", and called for the government to "End citizenship-based taxation by instructing Treasury to redefine “individual” in Section 1 of the 1913 Tax Code to ‘resident of the USA'."
Both letters suggest the issues faced by overseas Americans are becoming much more mainstream. The hope among advocacy groups and overseas organisations will be that this isn't just a pre-election call to action, and that the issues remain at the heart of whichever administration is in the White House come January 2021.