17:04, July 28 59 0

2018-07-28 17:04:06

 

The State Department is retroactively revoking passports for trans citizens

A recent string of anti-trans events in the U.S., including anti-military rhetoric and denial of U.S. passports to trans citizens, has the country in turmoil. Are trans people suffering the burden of proof for basic human rights? Two trans women say yes.

Gender Justice League Executive Director Danni Askini‘s home base is in Seattle, but the says she is in temporary “exile” to Sweden because the U.S. State Department refuses to renew her 10-year U.S. passport. And now she faces possible arrest at the border should she attempt reentry.

“The State Department/U.S. Embassy has transmitted a letter to the Swedish Government that they ‘cannot confirm’ that I am a U.S. Citizen as I have ‘not ‘sufficiently demonstrated a claim to U.S. citizenship’ and ‘until I submit complete documentation requested’ it will be up to the discretion of the CBP person at the border to determine if I am admissible for reentry to the USA,” she wrote on Facebook.

“They also included a statement that I could be detained, arrested, or removed (i.e. turned away) at the border by that officer at their sole [discretion]. I will post a copy of the letter when it comes from the Swedish government next week,” she added.

Askini said the Swedish government “just shrugged and aren’t sure what more they can do.”

“They did hand over my 2-year passport which [was] a relief,” she said.

Then the plot thickened.

“Let’s just be clear that U.S. Government officials have both accused me in a letter of fraudulently obtaining a passport in 2007 (when trying to renew) which if charged could land me. in jail for 10 years and are now saying I could face arrest upon reentry. While the two things weren’t uttered in the same letter, when put together it is terrifying,” she wrote.

Askini believes she is being “politically targeted” and will have to see if she gets arrested at the border to confirm the suspicion.

“Either way this is not reassuring,” she said. “While it wasn’t an explicit threat, it could easily by read that way.”

Another woman, Janus Rose, corroborates the story with her own; her U.S. passport was revoked due to what the government stated was an “error.” She’ll need to provide a doctor’s note affirming her gender marker in order to have it reinstated.

Rose is a New York-based technology researcher who had a female gender marker listed on her U.S. passport since November 2017.  When she finalized a legal name change and submitted her documents for an updated U.S. passport, it was denied.

She received a phone call from a passport processing center in South Carolina.

“She basically told me that even though the government had changed my gender marker in the last year, that was a mistake,” Rose told them.

The worker explained to Rose that the medical documentation she supplied was not sufficient backup for the gender change on her U.S. passport.

“This letter is something my clinic has been using as a boilerplate for years for so many people,” Rose says. “The clinic says I’m the first person to get a rejection.”

The State Department has a “Gender Designation Change” page designed for people wishing to update their gender on their U.S. passports. There’s even a medical certification template available for doctors to access. So where’s the rub?

“Things are getting really dark in America,” Askini said. “How many canaries have to die in the coal mine before people realize the current regime is totalitarian?”


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