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Early-Afternoon Open Thread And Car Wash | Main | Food Thread: Shut Up And Go Back To Your un-Air-Conditioned Hovel And Eat Your Animal Feed While I enjoy Real Food
September 02, 2018

Washington Post: Enforcing the law is bad when we say it is, and we are going to quote a lot of Mysterious Gypsy Women and you must totally believe everything they say without question.

Here is a complete fisking of a Washington Post article by commenter "2nd Amendment Texan,” Who happens to be an ex passport-fraud investigator. He thinks that the WaPo is full of shit. I know...crazy idea! But hear him out. It's long, but worth a read.

Actual headline: U.S. is denying passports to Americans along the border, throwing their citizenship into question

►Oh, so they are just randomly taking people who happen to be living near the US border and denying their passport applications? Because they just happen to live near there. Sure, Washington Post, whatever you say.

On paper, he’s a devoted U.S. citizen. His official American birth certificate shows he was delivered by a midwife in Brownsville, at the southern tip of Texas. He spent his life wearing American uniforms: three years as a private in the Army, then as a cadet in the Border Patrol and now as a state prison guard.

► Wait, what? He was a cadet in the Border Patrol? Just a cadet? What would prompt a cadet in the Border Patrol to up and quit to be a prison guard? I am confident if the reason was he blew out his knee, the reporter would have mentioned it. More likely he sexually harassed someone, got caught cheating, or was otherwise found to be unsuitable to carry a badge and gun. These are the typical reasons cadets are kicked out of law enforcement academies. The article just glosses over this, because of course they do.

But when Juan, 40, applied to renew his U.S. passport this year, the government’s response floored him. In a letter, the State Department said it didn’t believe he was an American citizen.

►Does Juan not have a last name?

As he would later learn, Juan is one of a growing number of people whose official birth records show they were born in the United States but who are now being denied passports — their citizenship suddenly thrown into question.

► Not “now being denied passports”. Always. This has been going on since at least the Clinton Administration. As a former passport fraud investigator, let me outline here what typically happens:

Corrupt Dr (or much more commonly, midwife) goes to a Mexican border town *in Mexico* and says for a nice cash bribe I will lyingly claim I delivered your newborn baby in the US. A deal is struck and the midwife files the paperwork and the parents get a US birth certificate for that child. Years later the midwife or doctor is caught, and people with that criminal’s name on the birth certificates are asked for more information to support that they were born in the US since that the birth certificate origins are suspect. No doubt due to racism and all of the admitted lies and payoffs and crimes committed by that midwife, but mainly all of the admitted lies and payoffs and crimes committed by that midwife. For most people that were born in the US, they are able to cobble together such records and they get a passport. But what about those people that don’t have it due to poor record keeping or…they were really not born in the United States?

The Trump administration is accusing hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Hispanics along the border of using fraudulent birth certificates since they were babies, and it is undertaking a widespread crackdown.

►Note the thrown in about “Hispanics” as if this happens on our northern border but the US only cares about hurting Hispanics. Ridiculous.

In a statement, the State Department said that it “has not changed policy or practice regarding the adjudication of passport applications,” adding that “the U.S.-Mexico border region happens to be an area of the country where there has been a significant incidence of citizenship fraud.”

But cases identified by The Washington Post and interviews with immigration attorneys suggest a dramatic shift in both passport issuance and immigration enforcement.

►In other words, cases identified by activist immigration attorneys and interviews with activists immigration attorneys suggest… You know, it is amazing that the Washington Post can find sources in every nook in the world but can’t seem to find a single retired passport adjudicator or investigator to talk to about this problem that has literally gone on for decades. Funny how that gap always is around, and always in one direction.

In some cases, passport applicants with official U.S. birth certificates are being jailed in immigration detention centers and entered into deportation proceedings. In others, they are stuck in Mexico, their passports suddenly revoked when they tried to reenter the United States.

►Stuck in Mexico? You mean the place they were born?

As the Trump administration attempts to reduce both legal and illegal immigration, the government’s treatment of passport applicants in South Texas shows how U.S. citizens are increasingly being swept up by immigration enforcement agencies.

►This is a lie. They are not targeting applicants who live in South Texas. They are asking for more information of *ANY* applicant anywhere in the world that has a US birth certificate featuring the names of certain midwives and physicians that are known to have taken bribes to fraudulently files birth certificates. If you have a birth certificate from Brownsville with one of those midwives who is an admitted liar and are applying for a passport from deep red South Carolina you are going to be getting the same requests for further documentation. If you were born in a hospital in Ames, Iowa but apply from, say, Brownsville you are not going to get such requests.

Juan said he was infuriated by the government’s response. “I served my country. I fought for my country,” he said, speaking on the condition that his last name not be used so that he wouldn’t be targeted by immigration enforcement.

►We still don’t know who Juan is, so I am going to use David Burge’s idea and simply refer to him a Mysterious Gypsy Woman. Did he serve in the Army? What did he do there? Was he a war hero or did he get a dishonorable discharge? We can’t know.

The government alleges that from the 1950s through the 1990s, some midwives and physicians along the Texas-Mexico border provided U.S. birth certificates to babies who were actually born in Mexico. In a series of federal court cases in the 1990s, several birth attendants admitted to providing fraudulent documents.

►The government didn’t allege, the government proved. Keep saying that provable facts are just allegations, media. No way that will make people lose faith in your ability to be truthful.

Based on those suspicions, the State Department during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations denied passports to people who were delivered by midwives in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley. The use of midwives is a long-standing tradition in the region, in part because of the cost of hospital care. The same midwives who provided fraudulent birth certificates also delivered thousands of babies legally in the United States. It has proved nearly impossible to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate documents, all of them officially issued by the state of Texas decades ago.

►Well, yes, that muddling is exactly why the State Department doesn’t just flat out deny people with sketchy birth certificates. They ask for more documentation.

A 2009 government settlement in a case litigated by the American Civil Liberties Union seemed to have mostly put an end to the passport denials. Attorneys reported that the number of denials declined during the rest of the Obama administration, and the government settled promptly when people filed complaints after being denied passports.

►I am sure there is no way the super-serious, rule-of-law, by-the-book Obama Administration would settle a suit with their buddies in the ACLU that wasn’t on the up and up. Nope, not those guys. Straight shooters, all of them.

But under President Trump, the passport denials and revocations appear to be surging, becoming part of a broader interrogation into the citizenship of people who have lived, voted and worked in the United States for their entire lives. “We’re seeing these kind of cases skyrocketing,” said Jennifer Correro, an attorney in Houston who is defending dozens of people who have been denied passports.

►Well, yes, when a law isn’t enforced for 8 years and then is enforced there will be a “surge” of enforcement. You know, I think all journalism degrees should require two statistics classes.

In its statement, the State Department said that applicants “who have birth certificates filed by a midwife or other birth attendant suspected of having engaged in fraudulent activities, as well as applicants who have both a U.S. and foreign birth certificate, are asked to provide additional documentation establishing they were born in the United States.”
“Individuals who are unable to demonstrate that they were born in the United States are denied issuance of a passport,” the statement said.

When Juan, the former soldier, received a letter from the State Department telling him it wasn’t convinced that he was a U.S. citizen, it requested a range of obscure documents — evidence of his mother’s prenatal care, his baptismal certificate, rental agreements from when he was a baby. He managed to find some of those documents but weeks later received another denial. In a letter, the government said the information “did not establish your birth in the United States.” “I thought to myself, you know, I’m going to have to seek legal help,” said Juan, who earns $13 an hour as a prison guard and expects to pay several thousand dollars in legal fees.

►So Mysterious Gypsy Woman doesn’t have a baptism certificate or he doesn’t have a baptism certificate from a church in the United States? See what they did there? Nice sleight of hand, Washington Post. Someone could go digging and find out if he has a baptismal certificate in churches near where he claimed to have been born, but that would take digging and effort. If there was just a job that existed for people who would do such digging and then write about what they found…

In a case last August, a 35-year-old Texas man with a U.S. passport was interrogated while crossing back into Texas from Mexico with his son at the ¬McAllen-Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge, connecting Reynosa, Mexico, to McAllen, Tex. His passport was taken from him, and Customs and Border Protection agents told him to admit that he was born in Mexico, according to documents later filed in federal court. He refused and was sent to the Los Fresnos Detention Center and entered into deportation proceedings. He was released three days later, but the government scheduled a deportation hearing for him in 2019. His passport, which had been issued in 2008, was revoked.

►So Mysterious Gypsy Woman Who Doesn’t Even Have a First Name claims something that he filed in federal court makes what he is saying true. None of what Mysterious Gypsy Woman Who Doesn’t Even Have a First Name asserts rings even remotely true, and I remain confident that the Washington Post is adamant that it be looked into no further.

Attorneys say these cases, where the government’s doubts about an official birth certificate lead to immigration detention, are increasingly common. “I’ve had probably 20 people who have been sent to the detention center — U.S. citizens,” said Jaime Diez, an attorney in Brownsville.

►Amazing how these crack Washington Post reporters take the word of the Mysterious Gypsy Women’s attorneys at face value with zero followups. Way to swing for the credibility fences, Washington Post.

Diez represents dozens of U.S. citizens who were denied their passports or had their passports suddenly revoked. Among them are soldiers and Border Patrol agents. In some cases, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have arrived at his clients’ homes without notice and taken passports away.

►Why does it matter if the Mysterious Gypsy Women are soldiers? After all, the Washington Post has spent the last several years implying 24/7 that pretty much every single DREAMer is serving in the military, and they aren’t citizens by the media’s own acknowledgment. And one must be a US Citizen to be a US Border Patrol agent, so not being one is a pretty big deal.

The State Department says that even though it may deny someone a passport, that does not necessarily mean that the individual will be deported. But it leaves them in a legal limbo, with one arm of the U.S. government claiming they are not an American and the prospect that immigration agents could follow up on their case. It’s difficult to know where the crackdown fits into the Trump administration’s broader efforts to reduce legal and illegal immigration. Over the past year, it has thrown legal permanent residents out of the military and formed a denaturalization task force that tries to identify people who might have lied on decades-old citizenship applications.

►The military has a ton of greencard holders serving, and none of them are thrown out of the military just because they are still greencard holders as they were the day they joined. Sounds like a lie, plain and simple. You know someone who probably lied on their decades-old citizenship certificate? That 95-year-old Nazi guard that was just deported.

Now, the administration appears to be taking aim at a broad group of Americans along the stretch of the border where Trump has promised to build his wall, where he directed the deployment of National Guardsmen, and where the majority of cases in which children were separated from their parents during the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy occurred.

►This section is just so dumb. Again, it is a lie to say that the government is taking aim at anyone, they are not. Also, where they live is not relevant, who claimed they delivered them at birth is the key question. I am not sure what the point of the rest of the paragraph is other than to notate that border enforcement typically is concentrated on the border, which any six year old could understand.

The State Department would not say how many passports it has denied to people along the border because of concerns about fraudulent birth certificates. The government has also refused to provide a list of midwives whom it considers to be suspicious. Lawyers along the border say that it isn’t just those delivered by midwives who are being denied.

Babies delivered by Jorge Treviño, one of the regions most well-known gynecologists, are also being denied. When he died in 2015, the McAllen Monitor wrote in his obituary that Treviño had delivered 15,000 babies.

It’s unclear why babies delivered by Treviño are being targeted, and the State Department did not comment on individual birth attendants. Diez, the attorney, said the government has an affidavit from an unnamed Mexican doctor who said that Treviño’s office provided at least one fraudulent birth certificate for a child born in Mexico. One of the midwives who was accused of providing fraudulent birth certificates in the 1990s admitted in an interview that in two cases, she accepted money to provide fake documents. She said she helped deliver 600 babies in South Texas, many of them now being denied passports. Those birth certificates were issued by the state of Texas, with the midwife’s name listed under “birth attendant.”

“I know that they are suffering now, but it’s out of my control,” she said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of her admission.

►That is correct, it is out of her control, and it is up to the government to sort all of this out. I did, and do, feel bad for people who have grown up in the US and didn’t know they were not born here. It sucks. But we have rules, and if a parent bribes someone to file a fraudulent birth certificate then that person is not entitled to US citizenship. But the parents did this to these people, not you, not me, not the State Department, and not Trump.

For those who have received passport denials from the government, it affects not only their travel plans but their sense of identity as Americans.

One woman who has been denied, named Betty, said she had tried to get a passport to visit her grandfather as he was dying in Mexico. She went to a passport office in Houston, where government officials denied her request and questioned whether she had been born in the United States. “You’re getting questioned on something so fundamentally you,” said Betty, who spoke on the condition her last name not be used because of concerns about immigration enforcement.

►Another Mysterious Gypsy Woman makes a claim, a plausible one in my view, of a denial of her passport application. Too bad there isn’t any follow up on it - was her birth certificate filed by one of the midwives who was caught taking bribes? Seems like a pretty important element to leave out of the story about people getting their passport applications denied because midwives were taking bribes.

The denials are happening at a time when Trump has been lobbying for stricter federal voter identification rules, which would presumably affect the same people who are now being denied passports — almost all of them Hispanic, living in a heavily Democratic sliver of Texas.

►Again with the lie relating to the geographic region.

“That’s where it gets scary,” Diez said. For now, passport applicants who are able to afford the legal costs are suing the federal government over their passport denials. Typically, the applicants eventually win those cases, after government attorneys raise a series of sometimes bizarre questions about their birth. “For a while, we had attorneys asking the same question: ‘Do you remember when you were born?’ ” Diez said. “I had to promise my clients that it wasn’t a trick question.”

►Well then your clients are dumb. The implication that the government attorneys seem to think that a person would remember their own birth from their own memory of being there is so dumb I can not even be bothered to write about it.

digg this
posted by CBD at 02:00 PM

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