El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana

El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana
The Conquistador who put the Amazaon baisn "on the map"....Francisco Orellana

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Get a U.S. Passport Now – While You Still Can

I write a lot about the many advantages of second citizenship and, with it, the benefits of a second passport.

Today, I want to issue a serious warning to my fellow Americans: act now to obtain a first passport – a U.S. passport, or you may soon lose your chance.

I suspect that most Americans think they are entitled to a U.S. passport as a matter of right. But when I turn to page six of my 2005 re-issued passport it states: “U.S. Government Property.” It tells me that: “Upon demand made by any authorized representative of the U.S. Government, it must be surrendered.”

By law, the government can refuse to issue or renew your passport for reasons ranging from an outstanding federal arrest warrant to an existing debt of $5,000 or more in delinquent child support payments.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Senate passed a bill by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) that would have denied or revoked a U.S. passport if the IRS claimed a person owed $50,000 or more in delinquent taxes. Fortunately, this bill was killed in the House.

But pause and consider your situation if the U.S. State Department refused to issue you a passport or if it revoked your current passport – you would lose the right and ability to travel to, or live in, a foreign country. If you are already abroad, you would become an instant illegal alien subject to deportation to the United States.

Ironically, until a century ago, almost anywhere you went in the world, passports were not required for international travel. Rare passports were used mainly to insure passage of diplomats sent to negotiate peace treaties or carry official papers.

Now governments use passports as another part of citizen control and surveillance. Official passport control marked the Cold War years, but now it is applied with a bureaucratic, computer-driven vengeance, justified by the endless “War on Terror.”
Human Controls

I often get questions about the possibility of currency and capital controls, but thinking Americans should be equally concerned about foreign travel controls – the possibility that the government is planning a geographic prison for those they decide to keep within the U.S. borders – for whatever reason.

If you need proof of the ominous direction in which this passport control movement is heading, PapersPlease.org, an affiliate of the First Amendment Project, has reported on what the U.S. State Department is planning for future passport applicants. And it looks like a systematic restriction of selected Americans to the homeland. This goes far beyond any of the existing unfair, secret “no-fly” lists or brainless TSA body scans, searches and groping.

Robert Wenzel, writing in the Economic Policy Journal, notes that in 2011 “…the State Department proposed a new ‘Biographical Questionnaire’ for U.S. passport applicants” that required those receiving a long-form DS-5513 application to answer a host of invasive personal questions ranging from every address at which you have ever resided and your lifetime employment history to whether or not you were circumcised and, if so, with what religious rituals.

Wenzel reveals: “Ignoring massive public opposition, and despite having admitted that it is already using the ‘proposed’ forms illegally without approval…” the State Department now wants approval for two “new” passport application forms, both just as objectionable. The State Department is now seeking approval for a somewhat revised Form DS-5513 as well as a new Form DS-5520, both for passport applicants, containing many of the same inane questions.
Don’t Wait – Take Action

Don’t let your voice go unheard. Tell the State Department exactly what you think of their new requirements – you can (and should) send written comments by fax to (202) 395-7245. When you submit comments, state that they concern the Office of Management and Budget’s review of proposed Department of State information collection requests, Form DS-5513 (ICR Reference Number 201208-1405-002) and Form DS-5520 (ICR Reference Number 201208-1405-001).

In the meantime, don’t take any chances. You can and should apply for a U.S. passport now. How to obtain a passport is explained here, including how it can be done online. An adult passport costs $135 with Form DS-11 and a minor’s passport is $105 with Form DS-82. Be aware that first time applicants must appear in person after filing.
A Second Passport Now

The law requires a U.S. citizen to use his or her U.S. passport to leave or enter the country. What I have told you here makes absolutely clear that what also is needed is a second passport issued by a country whose government, unlike the United States, does not treat its citizens like so many sheep to be herded into pens.

Under the title “Your Papers, Please,” the late chairman of The Sovereign Society, Jack Puglsey, wrote: “One can’t help but reflect on George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984 … the nightmarish depiction of what future life could be like under a repressive, post-World War government. Orwell’s prescience is unnerving.”

Jack was right when he added: “The elements of that Orwellian nightmare are either proposed or already here.”

Protect yourself before you might be denied your first passport, the first step to a valuable second passport and greater freedom.

Faithfully yours,

Bob Bauman JD


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