Subject: [WorldCitizen] Travel in the Western Hemisphere Questions...
I have been reading the US State department travel page http://travel. state.gov/ travel/cbpmc/ cbpmc_2223. html which describes new travel regulation throughout the Western hemisphere under the WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative) agreement.
As I understand it, the countries in the Western hemisphere have all agreed to only accept US State Department Passports from Americans after January 2008. The date is uncertain because they have issued extensions to cover Americans without a National Passport, or who are waiting for one.
The Consular Information sheet for the Dominican republic http://travel. state.gov/ travel/cis_ pa_tw/cis/ cis_1103. html says you can still enter there with only a US Birth Certificate and
you land by boat, but after 2008 a US Passport will be required in every case.
I wonder how this will affect holders of the World Passport and people who only have that to travel with. Does anyone know whether things will change with Ecuador too with the WHTI rules? It has been a "de Jure" acceptor of the World Passport in the Western Hemisphere so far.
I have a small sailboat and have traveled the caribbean since 1998 with only my Birth Certificate and the World Passport for my ID. Will this ruling force people like myself out of this hemisphere in order to keep traveling with the WSA travel documents?
Does anybody in legal know anything about all this? If I must leave for the Eastern continents, I must get my ducks in a row! There are only 4 months left until 2008.
World Citizen Forum Moderator Note:
With regard to USA citizens only, a new law went into effect on January 23,
2007 that requires US citizens to carry a US passport for AIR travel to and from the US. For now, US citizens can still use other documents for land and sea travel. The new law only affects US citizens at US airports upon exit or arrival; US law only has claimed jurisdictional enforcement in so-called "US territory." Thus, US citizens should be able to claim their right to travel using their World Passports in other parts of the world.
Also, there are a few exceptions or waivers to the US passport requirement in the new law: 1) the Department of Homeland Security can decide to accept other documents at its discretion, 2) a US-citizen traveler can ask for an "urgent" or "emergency" circumstance waiver to allow the traveler to use other documents if she/he is not in possession of a US passport, 3) the US-citizen traveler can request that she/he be allowed to enter or exit for "humanitarian" purposes or "in the national interest."
that this law violates US government obligations to respect the right to freedom of travel under customary international law and international treaty law (UN Charter Articles 55 and 56, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 12, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 13) as well as Article 6 of the US Constitution which requires the US government to uphold international treaties as the supreme law of the land: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding. "
In other words, every human being innately and inalienably has the right to freedom of travel no matter whether she/he carries any passport.
Yet national governments now give more credence to a paper document than to the human being standing in front of them. National governments do not want human beings traveling; they want national subjects who they can control, usually for economically discriminatory purposes. National governments want us to think that the right to freedom of travel is actually a civic privilege that the government can grant or deny, rather than the fundamental right that it is.
As always, it may be helpful to apply for a visa on your World Passport prior to travel by contacting a local embassy or consulate. Once you have a visa from any country on your passport it is generally easier to obtain other visas because the bureacratic national officials will already see that your personal document has already been recognized. Consulates and embassies may arbitrarily refuse to issue a visa while you may still be able to travel through at the "border post." On the other
hand, you may be issued a visa at the embassy or consulate and be refused entry arbitrarily at the "border." The book Passport to Freedom: A Guide for World Citizens, also available through WSA's online catalog at http://www.worldser vice.org/ cat.html provides detailed explanations on how to claim your human rights and overrule bureaucracies.
The WSA requests all passport holders to send in copies of visa, entry and exit stamps that you receive in your World Passports as evidence to the continued recognition of the passport throughout the world.
WSA(R) Legal Department