The Move to Undocument the Documented

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Do you remember the legislation that now dictates that passports must be shown at US land borders? It went into effect on June 1, 2009 I believe. That’s almost two years ago. Here is a link to the old passport application form. When this became law, many of us shrugged it off with the reasoning that is was for homeland security and that it was logical to show papers to get back into the country to prove who you were and that you were a documented American. Now I wonder…

I live about 100 miles from the Canadian border. Just a few years ago, we could drive over the border just by showing our driver’s license. We might have to submit to a brief car inspection and a rude border guard, but that was about it. Now, it’s “papers please!”

When I first heard on the Glenn Beck show on the radio yesterday about the new proposed passport forms, I instantly got very angry at what I perceived as a fourth amendment infringement on our rights. I then proceeded to look up the form and research it. That is why I did not post until today. I wanted to get my facts straight and cool off a bit before racing into battle. My conclusion – I have never had a passport in my life, but always intended to get one. It may very well be that I can now never get one and I was born and raised in America. I grew up as a construction brat and we moved an average of four times a year. There is no way I can ever find out all the schools I went to and all the places I have lived. In my life, I have worked at casinos and applied for security clearances as well. They only asked for the last 10 years. What the government is now asking for, effectively bans me from ever getting a passport. It bans me from traveling legally over the Canadian border as well. I find myself a prisoner in my own homeland. I am beyond furious over this.

From Glenn Beck when he asked questions about the form:

A State Department Official told Glenn’s producers, “The Biographical Questionnaire for a U.S. Passport, form DS-5513, is a supplemental form that an applicant may be asked to complete when information supplied on the application for a U.S. passport is insufficient to support passport issuance.”

“Where the information provided in an application is insufficient, rather than deny the application automatically, we ask for additional information to help an applicant prove his or her identity or citizenship.”

While not being able to answer a question would not preclude an applicant from being issued a passport, the official said, “Passport adjudicators will consider the information derived from the form in its entirety to confirm identity and citizenship, the two elements required by law for U.S. passport issuance.”

The goal of the new questionnaire is to stop people from obtaining passports through fraudulent means, as a passport is “gold standard among identity documents”.

Oh, I feel soooo much better. So if an “adjudicator” does not like the way you look, so sorry, no passport for you! You don’t qualify for the gold standard. I’m sure this won’t be abused by the government at all. This smacks of Nazi Germany. It looks like the new form went into effect on April 24th.

Here is the new form – DS-5513. The authorities say it should only take you 45 minutes or so to fill out. No freaking way… Let’s cover what is on the new 5 page form (the old one required two pages of filling out).

Section A is pretty standard:

Section A – Biographical Information

1. Full Name
2. Date of Birth
3. Social Security Number
4. Place of Birth – City, State, Country

So far, so good. Section B is where it starts to go off the rails:

Section B – Information about Your Family (Living and Deceased)

Information About Your Family… They want the full name, place of birth – city, state, country, date of birth and if the person is a US citizen. You need to list the following: Father, Stepfather, Mother, Stepmother, Spouse, all Siblings and all Children. Okay, children fine. But my Mother passed away when I was two and I don’t know where she was born. She was also married multiple times and I don’t even know the names of some of my half siblings. As you are supposed to list all those alive or deceased, I have half-siblings that I have absolutely no information on and cannot fill this part out. Hurdle number one for yours truly…

Section C gets even worse, but you only have to fill out this section if you did not receive a birth certificate within one year of birth in the US and/or if you were not born in a medical facility:

Section C – Information for Non-Institutional Births or Delayed Birth Filings

5. List your mother’s residence one year before your birth.
6. List your mother’s residence at the time of your birth.
7. List your mother’s residence one year after your birth.
8. List your mother’s place of employment at the time of your birth. This includes dates of employment, name of employer and the address of the employer.
9. Did your mother receive pre-natal or post-natal care? At what hospital and what was the address? What was the name of the doctor? What were the dates of the appointments?
10. What type of document, if any, did your mother use to enter into the United States before your birth?
11. Please describe the circumstances of your birth including the names (as well as addresses and phone number, if available) of persons present or in attendance at your birth.
12. Was there any religious or institutional recording of your birth or event occurring around the time of birth? (Example: circumcision, confirmation or other religious ceremony. Please provide details including the name, location of the institution, and date.)

Getting ridiculous huh? I ask you, is there any way someone could answer all this? It just gets better and better… Now more requirements if you are a born and bred American like me:

Section D – Residences

In this section you have to list EVERY residence you have had since you were born until present day. That’s street, city, state, zip, country and the dates of residence. For me, this is impossible. For many military or overseas contractors or salesmen, this is impossible. Maybe you are one of the fortunate ones who can list everywhere you lived, but I would wager it will take you a lot longer than 45 minutes to get through this form.

Onward and downward – hope you have super-duper records folks:

Section E – Employment

Here you have to list everywhere you have worked in your life here in the States and abroad. They want the company name, address, city, state, country, dates of employment, your supervisor’s name and telephone number.

Got that? I’m sure you can just recite that from memory right? Next:

Section F – Schools

They want you to list all schools you attended inside and outside the United States during your lifetime. They want the school name, address, city, state, country and dates of attendance.

This one would also be impossible for me as I changed schools on average four times a year. Another hurdle.

Do you feel that this is intrusive? I sure as hell do. Section G – Oath and Signature is self-explanatory and then you are done. Simple huh?

I have done countless hours of research on Cass Sunstein and his grubby fingerprints are ALL OVER this. I think Beck got it right when he said this is an attempt to undocument the documented. It is a move towards a national ID card and amnesty for millions of illegal aliens. The government wants to level the playing field and make us all peasants that are easily dealt with.

You know, my husband and I fought like mad to get our son-in-law into the US. He’s Danish and just a wonderful guy. We proved our income; we filled out countless forms. Now, I am not sure that we did him a favor. Oh, and it looks like there’s a strong possibility that I won’t be vacationing in Canada this lifetime or anywhere other than the US unless these creepy, invasive rules are overturned. I owe a world of thanks to Sunstein and DHS.

Welcome to the new United States, where it feels more like East and West Germany rather than America and Canada. Better have your papers in order or really good contacts (and a lot of money).



Terresa Monroe-Hamilton administrates the Noisy Room blog, where she documents the influences of those politically off the American course, called progressives. She is also a contributor to and her articles are featured in the daily Web publication, The Globe & Malevolence.

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  1. WTF, I have to show my passport to come and go, but illegals come and go at will.

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