Apr 27 2011

State Dept. already using illegal passport questionnaire

The most frequently asked question in the ongoing discussion about the State Department’s proposed new “Biographical Questionnaire” for (some) passport applicants has been, “Is this a hoax?”

We wish this were a joke, but it’s for real. The proposed Form DS-5513 that we published is the one we and others who requested it received from the State Department’s designated contact for the proposal.

The second most frequently asked question about this proposal is, “Why is the State Department doing this?”

We think we’ve found the answer: The State Department is already using a version of this form, illegally, without OMB approval, and has probably been doing so for several years. The point of the current proposal is to try to regularize and give legal cover to an ongoing and clearly illegal practice — and, while they are at it, to make the current form even worse. Read More