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I'm able to work. I'm able to draw social welfare payments. I have a medical card. But I cannot get rent allowance, nor funding for school, nor can I sign up for the "community employment scheme," a back-to-work program. Those I know for sure, but there are likely others. The difference is one check-box. I cannot claim and prove that I am a citizen of the EU. Strange,* I know. But that's the way it is.

  — 28 September 2009

*The "strange" part, of course, is that I was — as an American — afforded any of the privileges normally reserved for European-Union citizens.