The State Department reportedly will propose a new questionnaire for ‘some’ passport applicants — an otherwise uneventful bit of news if it weren’t for the questions themselves. The fact that it will be for “some” people is almost more frightening than the question… what do ‘they’ plan to do with this information???
If you don’t want it to get even harder for a U.S. citizen to get a passport — now required for travel even to Canada or Mexico — you only had until Monday 04.26.11 to let the State Department know, the day most people found out about it… please try anyway!! The U.S. Department of State is proposing a new Biographical Questionnaire for some passport applicants: The proposed new Form DS-5513 asks for all addresses since birth; lifetime employment history including employers’ and supervisors names, addresses, and telephone numbers; personal details of all siblings; mother’s address one year prior to your birth; any “religious ceremony” around the time of birth; and a…
Were You Circumcised? New Passport Questionnaire Baffles Many With Absurd (Unnecessary and Invasive) Info Demands… That Many of Us Could Not and Should Not Provide!
Video: State Dept. Making Passport Application Almost Impossible! Sounds absurd, doesn’t it? It’s true. Take a look here at full form.
Contact the State Department and tell them “NO”
According to BoingBoing, the form is meant for those who, while applying for a passport, can’t produce a birth certificate. “But as the FA suggests,” the site notes, “the circumstances in which people unable to provide a birth certificate will be given this form (rather than the traditional bureaucratic investigation) are not spelled out; further, the form itself remains a Kafkaesque impossibility for most people to complete.”
Consumertraveler.com notes the near impossibility of the proposed application, too:
The State Department estimated that the average respondent would be able to compile all this information in just 45 minutes, which is obviously absurd given the amount of research that is likely to be required to even attempt to complete the form.
“It’s not clear from the supporting statement, statement of legal authorities, or regulatory assessment submitted by the State Department to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) why declining to discuss one’s siblings or to provide the phone number of your first supervisor when you were a teenager working at McDonalds would be a legitimate basis for denial of a passport to a U.S. citizen,” that site goes on to say.
The supporting statement does say the questionnaire will be “used to supplement an application for a U.S. passport when the applicant submits citizenship or identity evidence that is insufficient or of questionable authenticity.” Still, it does not define “insufficient or questionable authenticity.”
Libertarian website Reason.org calls the new form “disturbing,“ and in its headline covering the story further describes it as ”impossible to answer“ and ”creepy.“ Author Radley Balko theorizes it could be a ”tool to allow the State Department to turn down a passport when they can’t find a more legitimate reason.”
And it’s not just conservative sites that are raising alarm. The uber-liberal Village Voice mocks the form’s question asking if the applicant was circumcised (yes, that’s a real question).
According to the document, the answering the questionnaire is “voluntary,“ ”but failure to provide the information requested may result in processing delays or the denial of your U.S. passport application.”
Personally, I think that this serves multiple purposes… JL
1) It is retaliation against those who insist upon seeing proof of Obama’s eligibility to be President. Let’s just ignore that fact that for a Presidential Candidate, it is a Constitutional requirement… and something that a candidate volunteers for and knows about in advance.
2) It is retaliation against those who don’t want illegal aliens to have the right to vote leftist Democrats into office,
3) It’s a way to deny high-worth individuals from fleeing the country if they attempt to move their wealth offshore, and discourages them from so doing, and
4) It’s a justification, however flimsy, for denying anybody a passport they wish to persecute, for any reason (think the Tea Party movement).
5) It may be an attempt to provoke all who don’t have a birth certificate to rise up against such draconian burden of proof, i.e: retaliation on the ‘Birther Movement’… people who just might be given this form no matter what!
Those are the only rational justifications (all unconstitutional, of course!) I can imagine to justify the unconstitutional passport form the State Department is proposing to use going forward. I look forward to your thoughts on this!
Here’s the first two of three video clips from iX this morning (4.27.11); Glenn, Pat, & Stu on the issue: