Rather than engage in the insipid ritual of emitting a few conventional and boring and repetitive words in this season of hope and joy, usxcanada went data shopping to try to find a present to post for Brockers. The following perspective on U.S. passport is cross-posted from the growing archive (in less than one year, more than 300 annotated entries) over at USxCanada InfoShop. What will 2013 bring? Certainly to many in our circle, hopes for freedom to be obtained, and joy in freedom achieved.
The extraordinary Mrs. Shipley: how the United States controlled international travel before the age of terrorism
Connecticut Law Review 43:3 (Feb 2011) 819-888
[389 footnotes] Career civil servant Ruth B. Shipley acted as chief of the Passport Division of the U.S. State Department from 1928 to 1955. Shipley personally reviewed every passport application, and prior to 1958 Supreme Court decision, her actions were subject to no judicial review. Shipley denied passports to Paul Robeson, Arthur Miller, Linus Pauling, and “many other” Americans during the 1950s. Kahn’s article explores how Shipley acquired such power and how the US passport became an instrument to prevent rather than permit travel. A backgrounder opening (825-842) provides a history of travel controls from 1789 to the Shipley era. Originally the passport was “a document [issued by the country that the traveler sought to enter] that granted a foreigner permission to pass into or out of a country’s ports” (825) — the opposite of what the passport came to be. Kahn concludes that current administration of U.S. citizens has achieved the Shipley effect through authority “diffused among intelligence analysts in multiple agencies who now compile watchlists of people deemed too dangerous to travel.” In this environment, judicial review is crippled by “the traditional deference accorded to national security and the sometimes secret processes by which that government interest is secured” (887).
Thanks for this – very nice gift indeed. Do you know where the complete article is posted? But, yes you make a good point – the passport issue is very much linked to all of this.
1. Do U.S. citizens have a constitutional right to enter the U.S.?
2. If so, would a requirement to enter on a U.S. passport be unconstitutional? If place a birth would prove citizenship, then why not a birth certificate?
3. Is there a constitutional right to leave the U.S.? I think the answer to this may be no.
4. What on birth could be the purpose of a requirement that U.S. citizens leave the U.S. on a U.S. passport? Answer: Only to prevent people from being able to leave. What other reason could exist for that kind of requirement?
P.S. Your blog has some great information.
I don’t exactly agree with this. I don’t think Americans are discouraged from going on TOURIST trips Here’s why: The US claims to be a free country. Anything that is very apparent to US Residents (i.e., clamping down on passport issuance) would provoke major backlash. Actually putting down roots and living in another country seems to be what US Politicians despise more than anything else. (Why? Fewer voters?)
Even around the time of Eduardo Saverin’s renunciation, I heard a CNN commentator commenting on Sen. Schumer’s ex-patriot act, saying that “this type of thing has been linked to unsavory regimes”, or something along those lines. So, at least the American people haven’t “sold out” their freedoms yet. Things could change one day. We never know. But I seriously think that US passport issuance will be based on “being clean” – not having any criminal record, compliant on taxes, etc…
I’m not trying to scare anyone, but I think it’s a good idea for everyone to always have at least two passports, even if you lived in the stablest of countries. Conditions change over time. I know some people that “appear” to have crystal balls in their houses, but they’re not right 100% of the time. I prefer to heir on the side of caution.
how long does it take to get a Canadian passport?
Russia (along with Ukraine and North Korea) still retain dual passport systems (a passport for internal and another one for external travel) to control population movements. In Russia today, gaining a passport for external travel can be restrictive depending financial/criminal record and type of employment (if sensitive). This is a leftover of the Soviet Union (itself a leftover of Czarist Russia).
*mark twain. 10-20 business days for a Canadian citizen.
(1) Unfortunately it is a condition of my access to the publication that I am requested not redistribute the publication itself. This aspect of knowledge unfreedom and corporate appropriation of the commons I could go on about at great length. But at least I still have the freedom to make the existence of the document known, and to allow others to glimpse the gist and to have the opportunity to seek it out.
(2) Given how the interplays of power and interpretation tend toward meaninglessness, I have almost no interest in anything to do with what the U.S. constitution may or may not provide grounds for supposing. (Perhaps the greatest amusement can be had from the 18th amendment to this clayfooted idol.)
(3) The exit functions of the US passport are greatly reinforced by the accidents of geography and consequent great dependence upon air transport and its strangely evolving protocols. On the ground exit controls have depended a lot on enforcements by Canada and Mexico. That situation probably has been changing to something far less loose.
Located public link to “The Extraordinary Mrs. Shipley” article in Connecticut Law Review, which is pasted below. Highly interesting article with its comparison of current US actions against “terrorism” to the Red scare phenomenon of 1950s. Thanks a lot to usxcanada for identifying it:
I can never stop equating travel inconveniences to scenes from Planes Trains and Automobiles:
Read “I had to walk over a f’ing FATCA, and through a f’ing OVDI, just so I could look at your silly f’ing face… I want my f’ing freedom right f’ing now”…. “May I see your US passport”… “I THREW IT AWAY”…. “OH BOY…” … “OH BOY WHAT…” “YOU’RE F’D”
Innocente – Thanks for the open source link. Credit to you for the updating to the postings.
*I just finished reading the full text of “The Extraordinary Mrs. Shipley” and recommend it to everyone. It’s a fascinating, well-written account of the history of passports, their increasing use, by the U.S. at least, for the control of its citizens, and the recent extension of that control through the No Fly List and other new methods.
I can only imagine someone like Mrs. Shipley working in the U.S. State Department today and having final say on the issuance of CLNs. And, of course, FATCA is just another mechanism of the U.S. government to extend its control over people it claims as “U.S. persons”, no matter where they reside, by bureaucrats and computer programs. While most U.S. citizens remain unaware of it, their freedom to live and work outside the United States is almost silently being taken away.
It makes me all the more sad but relieved to be a U.S. citizen no longer, although I still await a decision by some faceless bureaucrat in Washington to acknowledge that fact in a CLN.
The conclusion of the article includes (referring to the “no fly list”):
“Its utility as one of many layers of security used to protect civil aviation from terrorist attacks does not salvage the premise on which it rests, which is so destructive to our most basic American values and sense of individual liberty. That premise is that the state may decide which citizens it will permit to enter and which it will permit to leave, and that the state may undertake that decision in a manner that essentially forecloses public scrutiny or judicial review.”
No right to enter or leave the U.S. Therefore a passport is not a right of citizenship. So the obvious point is that the requirement that one “leave the U.S. on a U.S. passport” is without a doubt a way to prevent people from leaving the country.
Compare all this to S. 6 of the Canadian Charter of Rights which says that citizenship includes a right to enter or leave the country.
Mobility of citizens
6. (1) Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada.
My God, if the “Homelanders” only knew how few rights they have. Consider the impact of now tying this to tax compliance.
*It can cut both ways though: while renouncing would free one from burdensome tax compliance, it could nonetheless make future visits to the USA almost impossible if one had any sort of criminal record especially to do with drugs. I understand that even a misdemeanour for marijuana possession could make obtaining a visa difficult.
I have never been in any legal trouble, personally, but would have to live like a Saint if I renounced to ensure future access to the Belly of the Beast. It makes me think that for me at least, I’d rather continue to have full rights to enter the United States in spite of the ongoing tax compliance burdens but realise we’re all different.
@monalisa, Citizens of most developed countries don’t need a visa to just visit the US; among those who need a visa, over 75% are granted; among those who are refused a visa, 98% of the cases are because they did not provide enough documents or were not deemed to have enough ties to the country of residence, to ensure that they would not remain in the US illegally. I don’t think you have to be a “saint” to visit the US as a foreigner. Criminal records are required from prospective immigrants, but not from visitors. In my opinion, the main disadvantage of renouncing US citizenship is the loss of the right to remain in the US indefinitely (including to study and work without restriction), since visitor visas and visa waivers only allow limited stays (and no study or work).
Shadow, are you sure about the visiting part? I know that several singers have been turned away in Japan because of minor drug convictions. If the US has a policy like the Japanese….. #Confederate has said many times that he has been “hassled” going to the US due to a drug charge from years ago.
Also, with Green Cards, I saw someone on the internet who was saying that their spouse wasn’t allowed back into the US to live because they had shown the “intent” to give up the Green Card. I believe this person, but this was the only part of the story that I saw. I don’t know the actual specifics. I’m not exactly a fan of US Immigration policies, many I see as harmful to families. Heck, even if “I” (a US Citizen) wanted to take my family to the US, it’s not guaranteed. I think I would have to be seperated from them, go to the US, petition, and wait…
I was sent to the immigration holding pen for about 3 hours on my last visit and they threatened to send me back to Switzerland. It was due to a 35 year old drug conviction that had shown up in the last year. They matched the “misdemeanor possession of a controlled substace” to me based on my fingerprint which they had digitized in the last year. They warned me that getting a special visa to return to the US in the future would be a complicated process. I went online and started filling out the application for a special visa, but the process is so intrusive (they want all kinds of details about family members too) that I gave up.
I have accepted the fact that I won’t be returning to the US as long as Obama remains president, and likely never again. This is sad because it means that my siblings have to step in and carry my part of the burden of caring for my aging mother and my mentally ill brother.
I figure the expatriation is one strike, drug conviction is two strikes and contributing to blogs like IBS is three strikes. I am a marked man. Plus we all know that they are reading our emails and continually gathering more info over us all.
I have already been a victim of the war on drugs once when I was 20 and spent 2 weeks in jail, I don’t want to go through that again. It is not something that I would risk again. Frankly, I consider the risk of being detained on a return to the US to be far greater than that of being busted with a small amount of “controlled substances”.
I have been a victim of so many attempts by the state, so beloved my many Canadians here, to fix the problems of their own making: The war on drugs, the war on terror, the war on “unfairness”, the war against white males.
And now we are facing the war against whites protecting themselves. This flashback on the looting of Koreatown may be especially relevant for Petros.
@shadow raider, It was my birth right to live in the United States. What kind of STUPID country forces its emigrants to renounce their citizenship and then has no mechanism to welcome them back? This is why US policy is destructive to expats. It is because we have to choose between our life abroad and the right to move back to the United States. If we can’t live abroad, we have to move back to the United States. If we decide to stay abroad, we no longer have the right to return. I hate the fact that I had to choose my family and my life abroad over the right to return. But the government of the United States has exceeded its authority and made it so that thousands and thousands of people are forced into this dilemma.
We are not criminals. Even ConfH says that his drug conviction was only a misdemeanor and the federal officials are making a big stink about that. I had a traffic violation in Washington State in 1983. Does that mean I will be detained and warned that I cannot return? Does anyone in the United States realize how much their expats are suffering?
Does anyone know what time it is? Does anyone really care? No, this is the eleventh hour of the American global hegemony, and the end is near. The media talks about the “Fiscal Cliff” but the real cliff is that the United States is falling off the Cliff of Significance in the world. The people will experience desperate poverty and they will look for someone to blame. They will say, “It’s those damn expats who left the country so that they didn’t have to pay their taxes. That is why we are suffering. We must punish the damn tax-evading, criminal expats for what they have done.” Meanwhile, if they want to see a true criminal, they should just look in the mirror at the person staring back at them.
“No, this is the eleventh hour of the American global hegemony, and the end is near.”
Well I am certain that these guys have a plan B and probably a plan C. Mark Carney jumped from head of Canada’s central bank to being head of England’s CB. Cooincidence? I think not. They have a plan, but can they keep the lid on things?
This is certain: The Korean Americans living in Koreatown will not have forgotten how important having guns will be when “the LAPD
and County Sheriff had been overpowered by the number of rioters
forcing the departments to pull all units from patrol. As violent
rioters next turned their attention to firefighters, the LAFD also recalled their teams.”
This is when all these multi-culti-marxist tools will have their candy mountain bubble burst and will have to face reality, and all the state will do is finger who they plan to take the blame. Expats will bear some of the brunt, but by definition they are inaccessible.
@geeez, The data I mentioned come from the US visa statistics:
http://www.travel.state.gov/pdf/FY2011NIVWorkloadbyVisaCategory.pdf (B1, B1/B2 and B2, compare issued+overcome and the total)
http://www.travel.state.gov/pdf/FY11AnnualReport-Table%20XX.pdf (compare 214(b), 221(g) and the total)
These statistics are for visa issuance. What happens at entry is another story.
If you wanted to take your family to the US, you wouldn’t have to come to the US first. The petition is made by mail and then there is an interview at the embassy or consulate. You would only come to the US after the immigrant visa was granted.
@Petros, India has a nice solution to this problem. It doesn’t allow dual citizenship, but it created a category called “overseas citizen of India”, where a person of Indian origin who becomes a citizen of another country is allowed to live in India with no restriction, only without the usual rights exclusive to citizens like voting, working in the government and diplomatic protection.
@all, I believe that the incidents at entry that you mention happen, and only US citizens have the unrestricted right to enter the US regardless of whatever “crime” they committed. I understand the need to retain this right to see family members, because the risk of being denied entry, even if small, does exist as a foreigner. I agree that the situation is absurd.
In around 2005 a late 20s/ early 30s American, living and working in Switzerland, posted a message on an expats message board here about how she was initially denied entrance to the US. Her post, which was lengthy and detailed, went like this:
1) She flew into a New York airport from Europe/ Switzerland with her American passport and completed the required immigration document, which also requires the US address of where the arriving American will be staying.
2) She was planning to stay at her grandparents’ house in the New York area but did not have the address. (I recall that she was going to rent a car to drive there).
3) A (female) US Customs official denied her entrance because she had not completed the address part of the immigration form and told her to return to the airline gate for return to Europe/ Switzerland.
4) She returned to the airline gate in tears and explained the situation to the airline gate agent including a description the US Customs official. The airline gate agent replied something like “oh, that b____ again” and they returned together to the US Customs passport control lines.
5) The airline gate agent advised her to get into a different US Customs passport control line and she was allowed entry this time.
Question: Does a US Passport guarantee a USC’s entrance into the USA?
Answer: It depends on the US Customs official the USC is dealing with.
Recent blog post here re the renewed efforts of the IRS to tie tax compliance to US passports:
Pingback: The Isaac Brock Society
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VOLUME 123 2013-2014
‘Citizenship, Passports, and the Legal Identity of Americans: Edward Snowden and Others Have a Case in the Courts’
23 Apr 2014
….”..From an analysis of historical and legal precedents, it seems clear that the State Department has acted in violation of the Constitution in each of these cases. The revocation of Snowden’s passport violates a privilege and immunity of American citizenship, protected by the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment—namely a U.S. citizen’s ability to keep a passport while abroad as a document proving her legal identity and citizenship. This is a function of the U.S. passport that the Supreme Court has recognized since 1835.9 The revocation of the passports of the Yemeni Americans is similarly suspect. If the U.S. State Department contests the legality of their naturalization, their cases should be brought to court on the claim that there is good cause to revoke their citizenship. The cases do differ; Snowden’s citizenship is uncontested while the citizenship of the Yemeni Americans in question seems contestable. But in both instances, when prevented from directly revoking or attacking the citizenship of American citizens—which is staunchly protected de jure by Supreme Court jurisprudence and relevant statutes—the State Department has developed a strategy of attack whereby Americans are transformed into de facto stateless persons (as in the case of Snowden) or individuals who are no longer able to live abroad as U.S. citizens (like the Yemeni Americans). It is time for the courts to intervene and set the rules by clarifying the link between U.S. citizenship and a U.S. passport….”….
University of Pennsylvania Law Review
Vol. 162: 719
JOSHUA D. BLANK
“………With this definition in hand, it is possible to identify collateral tax sanctions. Below are several illustrations of collateral tax sanctions that have been proposed or enacted by the federal government and by state and local governments.
Each year, the U.S. Department of State issues hundreds of thousands
of passports to U.S. citizens who, collectively, owe the federal government
billions of dollarsin unpaid taxes.
In 2012, the U.S. Senate passed a measure designed to encourage tax-delinquent individuals to pay their outstanding tax bills.
Under the legislation, the State Department would be required to deny a request for a new passport or renewal of an existing passport from any individual owing
more than $50,000 in “seriously delinquent” tax debt—tax debt for which the IRS has filed a notice offederal tax lien.
Additionally, the State Department would be authorized
to revoke the outstanding passport of any individual owing this amount of
tax who attempts to reenter the United States.
The announcement of the passport denial proposal generated heated
public debate. Opponents argued that denying passports to tax-delinquent
individuals would violate due process rights by restricting an individual’s ability to travel based on a nonjudicial determination of tax liability.
as noted by Allison Christians at http://taxpol.blogspot.ca/2014/04/blank-on-collateral-compliance.html