Passports and Fear

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Us-passport enhanced

US Passport enhanced (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My passport is missing.

Actually, my passports are missing. I have two, both current: US and Canada.

I only need one to travel (technically*) and I cannot find either of them.

I keep them in a special silver case that protects them from electromagnetic rays and beaming up by aliens and other various nasties. Yes, I love my passports so much I got them their own tinfoil hats.

But the last time I used them was my trip to Orlando in January, and as you may recall when I arrived home I injured my spine. So that entire time period is lost in a fog of concussion and narcotics, and I don’t remember where I put them.

This, of course, wouldn’t be a big deal even a few years ago, back when the US still trusted Canada and I could go across the border on a road trip with nothing more than a driver’s license and the wind in my hair. (And clothes and food, obviously.)

Things are different now. The US no longer trusts its next-door neighbor; terrified of Canadian terrorism, or perhaps liberalism. But fear not, increasingly conservative and fear-locked United States! Canada is following in your footsteps! Not only are we trying to take away the right of choice for uterus bearing people, restricting mobility rights for people who don’t “look their gender”, but our BC Liberals are increasingly cutting back funding for arts, education, and anything else that may help the spread of actual liberalism. In fact, our Liberals are like your Republicans.

There. Do you trust us now? Is it enough that we are trying to be like you? If I hide my tattoos and have normal colored hair and wear a pretty dress and make-up so you’re sure that I’m female, which is apparently important because I’m CAFAB, will you let me through? If I promise not to spread liberalism or fresh ideas or freedom?

Ironically enough, I fled Bush-led USA for Canada in the hopes that the country of my birth was still as liberal as I’d left it. That’s been steadily changing for the past several years now. I’m sitting here and watching the world go down in flames.

 

*I say technically because when traveling I don’t volunteer the information that I have more than one citizenship, as it can lead to me being sent to fucking Gitmo. I always have both passports on me, however, in case the information does come up. Technically I should be able to travel with one or the other, but in the increasingly fear-based climate of my home countries I find it’s safer to carry both.

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10 thoughts on “Passports and Fear

    • Katje

      Yep! New title. I felt weird having a blog called “Katje van Loon.”

      And yeah, it was, until I checked all the bags I took with me. Not in there. Because I’ve moved around between my house and the apartment in Coquitlam a bit since then, as well as my boyfriend’s place, and packed and re-packed a bunch of times, there’s no telling where they could be.

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  1. Ha ha ha! Sadly, I believe you pegged my crazy country of birth. Supposedly living in the most liberal-minded country on the continent, I am careful not to tell people how I really feel about things unless they are friends. If I told the good monitors at Porthill (where I tend to cross the border into Canada) that I simultaneously and staunchly support the right to abort a fetus, the right to bed and marry whomever strikes one’s fancy, the right to be openly transgendered and proud of it, atheism, the right to shoot a deer for dinner, the right to spank my kid if she deserves it, the right to admire a Muslim as much as a Christian, to ridicule the concept (in the U.S.) that corporations are people, to believe in faeries and extra-terrestrial life forms… Hm, they’d probably lock me up in consternation.

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    • Katje

      -nod- Yup. I always go quiet in the car when we get close to the border, because I’m pretty sure they’re listening in on conversations in cars.

      And since that one border dude freaked out at me over my chicken Caesar salad, I take NO chances. (He just kept screaming “Is that chicken!?!” over and over and over. I think a chicken killed his family or something.)

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  2. Neil

    Found it! You can rewrite the piece now that you sleep in peace. It was in boxes with collage on them in the East Den.

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  3. CC

    Hey there. Ran across your blog. Noticed you are a dual citizen. Please google ” FBAR” and also on the IRS site – research the definition of a US Person. Since you have an american passport, even if you aren’t planning on ever living in the USA ever again…you still need to file your 1040s every year in the USA (for life) , PLUS the FBAR . Failure to do so can mean 5 yrs in prison and up to $500K in fines…definitely $10K per year per bank account fine if you have $10K or more total in bank accounts/RRSP/TFSA. If you haven’t been filing, you will need to file at least the last 6 years of both 1040s and FBARs. My husband (USA person, immigrated here, not yet a citizen) was caught in this and we have just completed all the complicated paperwork (it cost $2000K to pay H&R block to do it!). The US government is cracking down on those who are non-compliant, and have hired thousands of extra people to hunt those persons down. They are even asking at the border now – if you have filed your taxes. The treasury – if you haven’t filed your FBARs – will send out a warrant and you can actually be apprehended then and there at the border. I would look into it if I were you. It’s pretty scary stuff. No other country except the USA has these requirements….quite draconian….but nonetheless….is in their law. With increasing computerized sharing cross border – it is something that is going to catch up to not only dual citizens, but those who have one american parent….even if they have never been in the usa.

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