frandroid: We are the Canadian Borg. Resistance would be impolite. Please wait to be assimilated. Pour l'assimilation en français.. (canada)
[personal profile] frandroid
Passports needed to fly to U.S. starting Jan. 23

Damn.

I have always made a point to travel to the U.S. on my birth certificate, just because I could. Travelling on a passport means that you need to be a reputable Canadian, i.e. you need to have the approval of your two (or one?) approved professionals; the fact that you are born in this country is not sufficient anymore.

When I moved to Toronto from Vancouver and needed my passport (to go to France), this was a major pain in the ass for me as I did not know any bloody professionals for two years; I had arrived just a year prior. I finally managed to convince some people to sign for me, but still. I was born here, and I was not going to travel to Québec City to get my documents signed. But what if I just wasn't a sick person? What if I hadn't needed the services of a lawyer? What if I brushed my teeth every day and didn't need a dentist? What if I didn't go to university (which I hadn't, at the time) and didn't know any professors?

I.e., if you happen to be a healthy, working class person, it's harder for you to get a passport than if you are a higher-educated or higher-earning crook that just happens not to have been caught yet. I mean, there's something like a quarter or a third of Canadians that don't have a family doctor.

* * *

In an ironic way, this is going to make "terrorist" detection more difficult: If we follow the logic of racial/immigrant profiling, immigrants and second-generation Canadians are more likely to be terrorists. But being immigrants/2nd-gen, they are much more likely to carry a passport, since they are much more frequent overseas travellers than the average public. By making the passport mandatory, they are diluting the pool of people they have to profile from.

Date: 2006-11-22 01:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] compasspoints.livejournal.com
a bit of a nonsequiter: my gradnmother, living in a border town in northern ontario, rushed out to get a passport as soon as they threatened that it was neccessary for border crossing - for the express purpose of not jeopardizing her ability to cross the border to buy groceries like cheese. :)

in a way, i want to say that it might be easier for working class folks to get at least one passport reference in a small community. (but this is all relative to how long you've lived there, i guess) if you've got a P.O Box, you 'know' the postmaster.

can't pharmacists sign for you, too? even if you've been in fairly good health and are in a small town, they probably 'know' you, too.

Date: 2006-11-22 01:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frandroid.livejournal.com
a border town in northern ontario

Man, I had to compute that for 30 seconds. North = far from the U.S. :]

in a small community

Yeah, there I guess it would be easier.

Date: 2006-11-22 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] compasspoints.livejournal.com
well, i always idenify sault ste marie with quasi-north. it's no kasechewan, though!

are you going to make it to expozine? have you found people to share a car with?

Date: 2006-11-23 05:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frandroid.livejournal.com
I understand that "Northern Ontario" can touch the United States since Ontario is the most east-west of the provinces, on that weird diagonal axis :]

I've been to the Sault (why is it so hard to pronounce it "so"? anglos crack me up) once, and my hitch-hiking ride told me to be careful of the youth gangs or something.

The carpool didn't quite work out as I wanted so I found a pay-ride on craigslist. She's a bit shifty about the *weight* of the stuff I'm bringing so I'm crossing my fingers she won't dump me, but if she does that, it's Thursday, so I can turn around and find another ride instead, just hopefully not the evil greyhound.

Date: 2006-11-22 03:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rensalterego.livejournal.com
But haven't most people attended high school and elementary school? i.e. they can get their teachers from way back when to sign for them if they're still alive?

Date: 2006-11-22 04:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frandroid.livejournal.com
Hmmm, that's a good question; I can't remember. I think it's only professors, but if it's teachers, it was irrelevant to me at the time since I was 2000km from my former schools. On most continents, that's a few countries away, but here It's Just Normal. :P

Date: 2006-11-22 05:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] compasspoints.livejournal.com
from my recollection of the forms, it can be a school principal (from elementary or high school) or a professor at a university.

Date: 2006-11-22 03:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dobrovolets.livejournal.com
That is a really absurd, repressive, and class-biased requirement; I wonder how many countries place similar restrictions on obtaining passports.

Date: 2006-11-22 04:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] seaya.livejournal.com
I don't know of a single one! I think it's fucked up!

In the U.S. all you need is like your documents (driver's license/ID, birth certificate, residency card, things of that nature) and the fee and you have to turn them in to the proper office, many of which are located in the post office. Renewal you can do by mail.

Who would have thought that the U.S. is freer on that count?

Date: 2006-11-23 05:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frandroid.livejournal.com
There are a bunch of things were you guys aren't too fucked up. :]

Date: 2006-11-22 04:52 pm (UTC)
ext_429112: (Default)
From: [identity profile] konami.livejournal.com
This law is stupid, I agree. It's a pain in the ass to get a passport for most people.

You neglected to mention, that you need to (for some reason) get your passport photo taken "specially" by seemingly randomly listed commercial photographers, of whom charge $40+ for your little black and white photo. Ridiculous.

And then there's the charge for the passport itself... Depending on the country it can be expensive. If this law applies to the US to Canada, they will have even more trouble, their passports cost more by my understanding.

Only rich terrorists need apply for cross-border attacks. No poor-ass terrorists.

Date: 2006-11-22 09:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] woobeans.livejournal.com
wow that's nuts. i've never paid more than 20 bucks for mine.

and it's only been recently that the passport offices have been calling the guarantors to confirm that they actually know the person that they signed for. a lot of the time i had my passports signed by people who don't know me very well.

Date: 2006-11-23 12:16 am (UTC)
ext_429112: (Default)
From: [identity profile] konami.livejournal.com
Fortunately I got my passports finished a while back. The British passport cost a hell of a lot. Basically in Britain you can buy your citizenship with little criteria.

Although gets you anywhere you want in the EU, which is good.
From: [identity profile] zenko.livejournal.com
... of course, these kinds of things are never actually about security. They *do* know that anyone with the slightest bit of determination and cunning can get a passport. This is just more security theatre.
From: [identity profile] frandroid.livejournal.com
Yeah, I made the mistake of using something like a sort of "logic". Silly me! ;]

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