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Old 04-26-2010, 12:06 PM   #1
rhadin
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How do you plan to prove you are a citizen?

In light of the new law in Arizona that threatens arrest if you can't demonstrate citizenship or legal immigration status, I'm wondering how non-Arizonians who plan to travel to or through Arizona plan to demonstrate citizenship and how Arizonians plan to demonstrate it. Does anyone know if Arizona plans to issue statewide identity cards to prove citizenship?

I expect a birth certificate would be inadequate proof (and I don't know very many people who carry a copy with them 24/7/365 anyway) in light of Arizona's other pending law that will require presidential candidates to prove they are natural born citizens in order to be on the Arizona election ballot. At least according to the news reports, the reason for this law is that many Arizonians don't believe Barack Obama is a natural born citizen, which means they disbelieve his Hawaiian birth certificate, which must mean that birth certificates aren't sufficient evidence of citizenship. And it is well-known how easy it is to get a fake driver's license and social security card.

The cynic in me thinks this is just a Republican ploy to force the federal government to issue national identity cards without the Republicans having to say they actually favor them and alienate large numbers of their base. Crafty thinking if that's the thinking.
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:32 PM   #2
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A passport? Pretty much everyone has a passport, I'd guess. A passport actually explicitly states your citizenship, so it would be ideal.
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:37 PM   #3
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A passport? Pretty much everyone has a passport, I'd guess. A passport actually explicitly states your citizenship, so it would be ideal.
Not in the US they don't. An amazingly small proportion of Americans has passports!
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:47 PM   #4
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I'd suggest a full-body tattoo of Uncle Sam smoking a cigar made from eagle feathers that has been moistened shut with the tears of Amurrka's enemies. Also, for added not-being-Mexican, another tattoo might be added on the posterior spanning both cheeks that reads "May her colors never run." A test also could be administered and anyone who is stopped is shown a map of the world and if they can identify more than one country (Amurkka) they have to turn around and 'git her the hell out of there.'

Of course Arizona could reinstate the 'Bellamy Salute' used in schools all over America before WWII and have everybody use that salute as they cross into Arizona so everybody is really clear about what's happening. (Damn I'm getting real close to Godwin here).
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:56 PM   #5
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I have never understood how a birth certificate proves that YOU are anything - there's no photo (not that any of us look like our selves at birth), and nothing really to prove that you are the subject of the birth certificate.

In France, the only thing that proves your French nationality is your carte d'identité. A passport is not proof of French nationality, only the carte d'identité does that. And now they are making your re-prove your nationality when you go to renew your carte d'identité (every 10 years). If you were born outside France, you have to produce a certificate of nationality - fortunately, I still have all my paperwork handy from when I took French nationality, but I still have a few years to go on my first carte d'identité and I can hope that they'll be over with this silliness by then.
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Old 04-26-2010, 01:56 PM   #6
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Not in the US they don't. An amazingly small proportion of Americans has passports!
Cheers,
Bev
Bev is right. I dont have anymore, other than my brother no one else in my family has ever had one. I can only think of a handful of people that I know that actually have one. I guess part of it is the size of the country, there isn't much need to leave it, and the two countries adjoining us, until recently, didn't require one, so there was very little need for one.

As for proving my citizenship, about all I've got and what most people are going to have is a drivers license. Sure it can be forged but so can most any document when you come down to it. But we have to draw the line somewhere as to what constitutes proof or else the police will be so involved in trying to verify things and the people will be so involved in trying top prove things that everyone will be frustrated. And it would be a tremendous waste of time if the police had to spend an hour on every person that they stopped.

In the end it will come down to the judgment of the police doing the checking. If someone produces an acceptable document and everything looks in order then they should let them go, unless there is some suspicion that things may not be as they seem.
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Old 04-26-2010, 02:20 PM   #7
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How long does an individual have to prove they're a citizen? Can an officer just walk up to someone and detain them because they don't have proof of citizenship in their hands? As soon as ID is required at all times, we're one short step away from a police state, IMO.

Maybe they should start going after the employers who look for illegal immigrants to pay low wages under the table, instead of going after the immigrants themselves. Of course, then you get the complaints from those who don't want to pay the extra costs that would be passed on to consumers. Maybe this new law is just intended to make it look like they're doing something while maintaining the status quo.
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Old 04-26-2010, 02:25 PM   #8
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The cynic in me thinks this is just a Republican ploy to force the federal government to issue national identity cards without the Republicans having to say they actually favor them and alienate large numbers of their base
Don't you need to have an ID card ? Here in france they are a few things you won't be able to do without (voting, registring for school, getting an appartement, get some work)
While driver licence or passport can be proof of identity too, they are times ID card, and only it, will be requiered.

Last edited by EowynCarter; 04-26-2010 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 04-26-2010, 02:26 PM   #9
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Apparently a birth certificate is ok according to http://travel.state.gov/passport/get...PrimaryEvCitiz

Primary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship (One of the following):
Previously issued, undamaged U.S. Passport
Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state
Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
Naturalization Certificate
Certificate of Citizenship
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Old 04-26-2010, 02:31 PM   #10
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Don't you need to have an ID card ? Here in france they are a few things you won't be able to do without (voting, registring for school, getting an appartement, get some work)
We can't do many of those things either without a state-issued driver's license or ID card. But even here in the U.S. we don't usually carry those everywhere with us, or at least I don't. I'm assuming Arizona isn't the same as Illinois with requiring proof of your identity when you apply for a driver's license, or that should certainly be proof enough. I had to show my birth certificate, a piece of mail addressed to me, and my social security card, and they all (of course) had to match before they'd even give me the written test for an Illinois Driver's license. The process is the same even for just an Illinois State ID. However, as many have mentioned, I don't have a passport either.
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Old 04-26-2010, 02:34 PM   #11
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Drivers' licenses have been in the process of being updated, security-wise, in many states... they serve as in-country universal IDs now, and they could continue to do so with heightened security measures.

Of course, not everybody drives, so a National ID can substitute for the drivers' license, with the same improved security measures attached to it. It would become the nation's default ID card. Tying verifiable biometric data into the card should be enough to verify that the card is yours, and including adequate tamper-proof tech will prevent the majority of forgeries.

As to those who complain about the mere concept of a "national ID card"... I mostly discount their concerns, on the basis that most of them don't complain about having to carry a driver's license, because it provides them a benefit... so a similar ID card, that provides the benefits implied by verifiable citizenship, should be no big deal.

To those who cry "Big Brother" over the matter... I completely discount their concerns on the basis that they are way overdue for a reality-check...
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Old 04-26-2010, 02:36 PM   #12
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But even here in the U.S. we don't usually carry those everywhere with us, or at least I don't.
I do, more to make sure I have it when needded than anything else.
I rember one of the train employe asking for it, and trying to explain that if I didn't had my train card, that was because I had forgoten my wallet. And my ID card is, of course, in my wallet. (Along with any card that could have prove my identity, and money to buy a ticket..)
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Old 04-26-2010, 02:36 PM   #13
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I expect a birth certificate would be inadequate proof (and I don't know very many people who carry a copy with them 24/7/365 anyway)
Washington, D.C. issues wallet-sized birth certificate cards, which can be handy identifiers. When I used to do government work, I carried mine with me for clearance ID at all times.

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We can't do many of those things either without a state-issued driver's license or ID card. But even here in the U.S. we don't usually carry those everywhere with us, or at least I don't.
Funny... I, and most of the people I know, wouldn't dream of leaving the house without our wallets, with our ID cards, on us at all times. Even when we travel light, it's a small billfold of ID and cash. About the only place where I might not take my license with me would be to go swimming... and if I go to a public pool, I need an ID to get in.

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Old 04-26-2010, 02:41 PM   #14
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Not being one to trust anything the media tells us; I looked up the actual Arizona law, S. 1070. It was actually hard to find until I found the actual bill number. Anyway, section 8, para B:
"B. FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY
21 OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS
22 STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS
23 UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE,
24 WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON. THE
25 PERSON'S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
26 PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c).

and

"E. A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, WITHOUT A WARRANT, MAY ARREST A PERSON
38 IF THE OFFICER HAS PROBABLE CAUSE TO BELIEVE THAT THE PERSON HAS COMMITTED
39 ANY PUBLIC OFFENSE THAT MAKES THE PERSON REMOVABLE FROM THE UNITED STATES."

I'm no lawyer but "B" seems to be saying that an officer has to have "lawful contact" with a person first. And only then, when reasonable suspicion exists, verify immigration status with ICE. And "E" is saying that the officer must have "probable cause" to believe that immigration laws must be broken before an arrest can be made. So, driving while Mexican wouldn't be "lawful contact" unless the person broke a law which then causes, for example, a traffic stop. If said individual didn't have immigration papers, nor a driver's license or some other proof of status, an arrest could be made under paragraph E.

Seems to me the intent is to strictly enforce current immigration laws instead of the willful ignoring them as is prevelent. Open to abuse? Sure, just like all laws, but you still need to show probable cause.

Anyway - here's the actual law, read for yourself.

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Old 04-26-2010, 03:38 PM   #15
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Not in the US they don't. An amazingly small proportion of Americans has passports!
America is a totally different situation than Europe. You have tiny countries packed together. Traveling between them isn't a big physical effort. European countries are the size of US states-- and I would think that most Americans have traveled outside their home state before.

Apples and oranges.

(Looking at Google maps, for me Mexico is around a 1,200 mile drive and Canada around 650 miles.)
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