The Only Way We’re Ever Going To Get Our Internal Security Forces Under Control Is…

…when we inflict them on native-born white people. Consider this episode in genteel ethnic cleansing (boldface mine):

On paper, he’s a devoted U.S. citizen.

His official American birth certificate shows he was delivered by a midwife in Brownsville, at the southern tip of Texas. He spent his life wearing American uniforms: three years as a private in the Army, then as a cadet in the Border Patrol and now as a state prison guard.

But when Juan, 40, applied to renew his U.S. passport this year, the government’s response floored him. In a letter, the State Department said it didn’t believe he was an American citizen.

As he would later learn, Juan is one of a growing number of people whose official birth records show they were born in the United States but who are now being denied passports — their citizenship suddenly thrown into question. The Trump administration is accusing hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Hispanics along the border of using fraudulent birth certificates since they were babies, and it is undertaking a widespread crackdown.

In a statement, the State Department said that it “has not changed policy or practice regarding the adjudication of passport applications,” adding that “the U.S.-Mexico border region happens to be an area of the country where there has been a significant incidence of citizenship fraud.”

But cases identified by The Washington Post and interviews with immigration attorneys suggest a dramatic shift in both passport issuance and immigration enforcement.

In some cases, passport applicants with official U.S. birth certificates are being jailed in immigration detention centers and entered into deportation proceedings. In others, they are stuck in Mexico, their passports suddenly revoked when they tried to reenter the United States. As the Trump administration attempts to reduce both legal and illegal immigration, the government’s treatment of passport applicants in South Texas shows how U.S. citizens are increasingly being swept up by immigration enforcement agencies.

What I find surreal about this is that I have an official copy of my D.C. birth certificate. Other than an embossed seal, it looks like it was practically scribbled in crayon–and I’m guessing many people don’t have their birth certificate in any form. Unlike most Americans, I do have a passport (and have it with me when I leave the country).

But most native born white people don’t have these documents and certainly don’t carry them around with them. In principle (though ‘priniciple’ doesn’t seem to be the correct word), there’s very little stopping ICE from snatching me–or even a ‘real American’–up and claiming I’m not a U.S. citizen. Ultimately, if I were able to contact legal representation, I could direct them to my documentation–but most people, even if contacted by a lawyer, wouldn’t be able to do so (because they don’t have it at all).

This kind of chicanery will go on–and will be (possibly) legal, if unethical–until native-born white Americans, aka ‘real Americans’, start getting detained (or worse) by our internal security forces*. Until then, if you’re not white, time to think about carrying your papers with you.

And I’m old enough to remember when we use to mock Communist countries for being ‘your papers, please’ societies. MAGA, indeed.

*In the U.S., we describe our police and other security agencies by their full names (ICE, etc.). But you realize what a threat to liberty many of these policies are if you describe them using terms U.S. newspapers describe similar agencies abroad, such as “internal security forces.”

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5 Responses to The Only Way We’re Ever Going To Get Our Internal Security Forces Under Control Is…

  1. cosmicaug says:

    But most native born white people don’t have these documents and certainly don’t carry them around with them. In principle (though ‘priniciple’ doesn’t seem to be the correct word), there’s very little stopping ICE from snatching me–or even a ‘real American’–up and claiming I’m not a U.S. citizen. Ultimately, if I were able to contact legal representation, I could direct them to my documentation–but most people, even if contacted by a lawyer, wouldn’t be able to do so (because they don’t have it at all).

    I’m not sure if having the document is even relevant. The story is talking about people who do know where their birth certificates are. The story is talking about doctors and midwives who are alleged to have provided US birth certificates to babies born not in this country. The birth certificate will be the same document either way. What is perverse and troubling here is that once one such professional has been alleged to have done this, all of their births are, apparently, given the presumption of not having happened in this country. The type of documentation required, as mentioned in the article, is such things as hospital bills (and who do you know who keeps those?). Even that sort of documentation could easily be claimed to be forged so it is potentially a no win situation.

    In most (but by no means all) cases of, as you put it, native born white people, your scenario is, in principle, more difficult because you are automatically a citizen if a parent of yours is a citizen (so place if birth is not necessarily of relevance to citizenship). As such, in those cases they would have to believe both that neither parent is a citizen and that the birth certificate document doesn’t truly mean what it would normally be presumed to mean. In the cases mentioned in the article I would presume that the parents are known to not be citizens. Of course, in principle there’s nothing stopping a skeptical official to iterate their skepticism to focus on the parents, and the parents’ parents etc..

    And, of course, though it is increasingly rare, some people just never had the proper paperwork done to have a birth certificate in the first place (for example https://www.reddit.com/r/NoStupidQuestions/comments/3n4iw7/i_have_no_birth_certificate_or_id_how_to_prove_i/ ).

  2. Wendy says:

    I once knew someone who was indeed officially stateless and he said he held a UN passport because of it.

    WRT paperwork there’s already issues with trying to meet the requirements of getting a REAL ID. After looking at the documents required, its not entirely clear my spouse would qualify to get one. One of the items required is your name on a bill with your address. Between having our bills sent to a PO box and that the bills come in my name, not hers, I dont think we could come up with one.

    (Dont laugh, I had to do some paperwork once that had a similar requirement and I couldnt meet it either without jumping through an extra hoop to get a doc which had no requirements which would meet the requirements of the paperwork I was submitting. And no, I’m not going to elaborate.)

    But as already pointed out, when officials look at someone’s paperwork and just say “invalid” or “fraud” or whatever the daily excuse is, what difference does having complied and gotten the paperwork even matter?

    That this is going on to *anyone* should scare the crap out of *everyone*

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