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Fri Nov 18, 2016, 12:06 PM

Identity Documents and Deportation

I don't really know where to put this, so I'm dropping it into General Discussion. (I'm not often the author of original posts here). If it needs to be somewhere else, moderators, please move it.

This is my first post since the hack. I just joined as a Star Member, because another day without Democratic Underground would be unthinkable. I'm extremely irritated at the hacker(s), but that's for another discussion. Right now, I'm really glad to be able to post about something that's been on my mind lately.

When I write, I tend to be long-winded. I have a lot of things to say about the election results and the current political climate. I'll try to keep this short and to the point. (Also, there's that word, "concern." Yes, I am writing this out of concern, but I believe my fears are very real. I'm not trolling.)

A couple days ago, I was meeting a friend at a restaurant, and it was a nice day, so I sat on a bench outside while I waited for him. It's in an "upscale" shopping center, and as I sat there for ten minutes or so, many people walked by me, and pretty much ignored me. It really hit me that I, a balding, slightly overweight, grey-haired white "professional" in a button-down and jeans, don't normally draw the attention of cops or security, or even the average shopper (unless I'm carrying a camera, they all seem to notice that). It's my "white privilege" at work. It's very real.

At any rate, I've mentioned in a few posts that my wife is Hispanic. Now that Trump is the apparent* President-elect, we have decided to get an up-to-date** copy of her official certified Birth Certificate, which she will keep with her at all times when she is away from our home. Once we get that document, we'll also get her passport renewed. Out of protest and solidarity, I will also keep my identity documents on my person, even though someone who looks like me is probably not going to get even a glance from any sort of immigration raid.

Which brings me to my point: if you are a US citizen and are even a little bit concerned about Republican efforts to deport "undesirables," I strongly suggest doing what you can to get your documents in order. Here is a PDF document explaining what's required.

I believe that undocumented people in our country should be given a path to citizenship. It doesn't look like that's on Trump's agenda. But ultimately, I simply do not trust them to deport "only illegals" or "just criminals" - this can be used against anybody they want, if they do it right. It's potentially a tool for suppression of not just racial minorities, but political opponents. For instance, I am on record with any number of Republican and Democratic members of government, expressing my feelings for or against various government actions.

I have been told that I'm over-reacting. I've been told that citizens have nothing to fear. But the rhetoric coming from the far right at this moment does not reassure me. Now, I'm the last person who wants to walk around in fear of some wannabe Schutzstaffel demanding to see my papers! But it really feels like that's where we are headed. If one of these NAZIs confronts my wife about her citizenship status, simply because they think she looks "Mexican," I want her to have an iron-clad defense.

This article on Slate should alarm anybody who reads it. During "Operation Wetback," the US really did deport American citizens who could not produce proof of citizenship.

I don't want them to be able to do any of this. I hope this information is useful for somebody.

*I say apparent because the Electoral College hasn't actually voted yet; I guess we'll see.

**The law changed in 2011, and all Birth Certificates now have to include the names of both parents. I was born in 1970, and my 1999 copy of my own Pennsylvania Birth Certificate, while perfectly valid proof of citizenship when I got a US passport in 2008, is no longer valid proof of my identity, because it doesn't include that information. I'm going to get a new one, too.

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Reply Identity Documents and Deportation (Original post)
neeksgeek Nov 2016 OP
yallerdawg Nov 2016 #1

Response to neeksgeek (Original post)

Fri Nov 18, 2016, 12:39 PM

1. A few years ago we were stopped in a State Trooper "random check" road block.

This was outside a sleepy little hollow called Clio in southern rural Alabama.

The state had passed some of the most stringent immigration laws in the US, worse than Arizona.

Just down from Clio is a huge in-the-middle-of-nowhere chicken-processing plant - with a rather "unique" workforce for southern Alabama.

Talk about 'white privilege.'

The trooper asked for registration and proof of insurance. We dug through the glove box and couldn't find any of it! I was about to "poop my pants." This is state law and this was a big, bad state trooper!

He looks around at all four of the "white" passengers and says, "Thank you, have a nice day."

We weren't on the agenda that day.

Believe me - what you said - we are getting all our papers together now.

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