“Birtherism is now federal policy. Anyone who is not white is suspected of not being a real American,” tweeted former Republican Max Boot. People with birth certificates are being denied passports because the government doesn’t “believe” that they are citizens—probably because they aren’t white. George W. Bush had sometimes done the same thing, but a 2009 government settlement stopped most of the passport denials. Now thousands of Hispanics along the border are accused of using fraudulent birth certificates. Even with official U.S. birth certificates passport applicants are being jailed in immigration detention centers and being entered into deportation proceedings. Others in Mexico with legal passports cannot reenter the U.S. because their passports are revoked. Passport applicants able to afford legal costs for suing the government typically win their cases, but many of this population cannot afford the fees and lawyers.
Charles Pierce wrote about passports in authoritarian countries:
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