Expatriate Americans

November 18, 1970

Report Outline
New Trends in American Expatriation
American Emigration: Past and Present
Profits and Problems of Living Abroad
Special Focus

New Trends in American Expatriation

Of all the indications of unwelcome change in the American way of life, none is quite so blemishing to the nation's self-image as recent reports of citizens quitting their native land to seek a better life elsewhere. Few Americans can be comfortable with the thought that the United States, pre-eminently the land to which other people seek to emigrate, should now be a supplier of people for settlement in other countries.

It's not that many Americans haven't gone abroad to live in the past. Expatriation has, in fact, always been an aspect of the American experience. But for the most part, expatriates have been special people—diplomats, foreign correspondents, artists and writers, employees of American firms with overseas interests. Today there is another special group of emigres—young men evading the draft law and deserters who refuse to serve in Viet Nam.

No one knows precisely how many are in this category: possibly there are 50,000 in Canada, the chief refuge of U.S. military evaders; 500 or so in Sweden; perhaps fewer than 100 in England; and a sprinkling in other parts of the world. They differ from most expatriates in that living abroad for them is involuntary. Sympathizers may call them political refugees, viewing their flight from military service as resistance to political oppression.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Military Draft
Aug. 19, 2005  Draft Debates
Jan. 11, 1991  Should the U.S. Reinstate the Draft?
Jun. 13, 1980  Draft Registration
Jun. 20, 1975  Volunteer Army
Nov. 17, 1971  Rebuilding the Army
Nov. 18, 1970  Expatriate Americans
Mar. 20, 1968  Resistance to Military Service
Jun. 22, 1966  Draft Law Revision
Jan. 20, 1965  Reserve Forces and the Draft
Feb. 14, 1962  Military Manpower Policies
Jun. 03, 1954  Military Manpower
Sep. 24, 1952  National Health and Manpower Resources
Oct. 24, 1950  Training for War Service
Aug. 21, 1950  Manpower Controls
Aug. 13, 1945  Peacetime Conscription
Sep. 09, 1944  The Voting Age
Apr. 15, 1944  Universal Military Service
Feb. 17, 1942  Compulsory Labor Service
Jun. 11, 1941  Revision of the Draft System
Aug. 14, 1940  Conscription in the United States
Apr. 24, 1939  Conscription for Military Service
Immigration and Naturalization
Military Draft