Steve G.

US citizens required to get permission to return to US

In Libertarian on June 27, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Under new regulations and procedures announced to take effect over the next month, citizens of the USA will, for the first time, be required to obtain USA government permission in order to return home to their own country from abroad — from anywhere else in the world, by air or sea or land.

On no other aspect of the right to travel is international law more clear than on the right of return to the country of one’s own citizenship: “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.” The new regulations are a flagrant violation of the obligations of the USA as a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other international human rights treaties, as well as a violation of the Constitutional duty of the USA government to treat such treaties as the highest law of the land.

It’s to be hoped that some civil liberties or human rights organization or individual will go to court before the end of this month to enjoin the government from putting these rules and procedures into effect, and that citizens will assert their rights by attempting to cross borders without papers, and suing those goons from the USA Department of Homeland Security who try to stop them. But if that doesn’t happen, here’s what the DHS has promulgated as “final rules” and “procedures”:

Click here to read the entire article by Edward Hasbrouck on The Practical Nomad

Hat tip Brad Spangler

  1. I lived abroad for years, and have noticed during that time, and my subsequent international travels, that the DHS personnel at the border posts are downright cocky and snippish.

    They act like they’re doing you a favor, interrogate the piss out of you (one of them asked why I didn’t have a big suitcase after a quick two-day trip to Korea), and get snarky. They imply, and sometimes openly state, that they can pretty much do whatever they want to you. They flaunt the information they have about you — former residences, political affiliation, former jobs, etc. One of them even talked about an old speeding ticket I got in Texas years ago.

    At LAX, they’ve gotten so darn nasty that that I avoid that airport entirely as an international transit point.

    The ultimate problem you’ve got is this:

    1) DHS argues that a passport is a “privilege” that US citizens are “bestowed” by the federal government — not a right;

    2) DHS simultaneously has rules forbidding exit or entry into the USA without a passport for US citizens.

    So if DHS decides not to give you the “privilege” of a passport, you’re prevented from entering the country from abroad — or exiting the country from within.

    At that point, we’re the Soviet Union. The passport becomes a government “exit and entry” visa, which can be denied for any old reason DHS wants, because a passport is a “privilege” and not a right.

    Worse still, the constitution guarantees only free movement amongst the several states — not a right to enter or leave the United States. I’m sure this features prominently in their thinking.

    We could very well be seeing the beginning of the segregated economy — where only a small pool of privileged individuals is allowed to compete in the global economy, based on his or her “DHS compliance.”

  2. In December of last year, I was invited to be part of a US delegation to the People’s Republic of China. As you will see at the link below from my personal blog, one of my major concerns was dealing with airports. Ultimately, I decided to pass, and the airport problem is one of the main reasons I decided to pass.

  3. Well China’s a full-fledged police state. Wherever you go or stay in China, your passport is scanned at the hotel, with the data provided to the local police department. I don’t *ever* feel comfortable there when I do go.

  4. Ironically, the country that controls China’s police camera, surveillance database, etc. is the same country that maintains the US Homeland Security “terror list,” and it also runs the Clear special security lanes.

    That should make people think twice.

  5. How much do you have to pay DHS to prevent them from allowing idiots like Ms. Miller back in the country?

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