THE PASSPORT: Debunking the Patriot Myth

In the autumn of 1775, before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin was sent copies of the Law of Nations, written by Emmerich de Vattel. These editions were forwarded by Charles Dumas, who was widely considered an authority on international law and whom Franklin previously met on his trip to Europe.[1] His custom editions of Vattel had notes added for the Continental Congress to thoroughly inspect. That December, Franklin wrote Dumas in response:

“I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of your edition of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary frequently to consult the Law of Nations. Accordingly, that copy which I kept (after depositing one in our own public library here, and send the other to the College of Massachusetts Bay, as you directed) has been continually in the hands of the members of our congress, now sitting, who are much pleased with your notes and preface, and have entertained a high and just esteem for their author.”


Suffice it to say, the Law of Nations is an important and integral part of the founding of America, therefore, it is proper and on-point that we start our inspection of the passport with Vattel, the Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law,” written in 1758. In Book III, entitled Of War,” it states the following in Chapter 17, Of Safe-conducts and Passports: with Questions on the Ransom of Prisoners of War:

§ 265. Nature of safe-conducts and passports.

SAFE-CONDUCTS and passports are a kind of privilege insuring safety to persons in passing and repassing, or to certain things during their conveyance from one place to another. From the usage and genius of the (French) language, it appears that the term “passport” is used, on ordinary occasions, when speaking of persons who lie under no particular exception as to passing and repassing in safety, and to whom it is only granted for greater security, and in order to prevent all debate, or to exempt them from some general prohibition. A safe-conduct is given to those who otherwise could not safely pass through the places where he who grants it is master, — as, for instance, to a person charged with some misdemeanor, or to an enemy. It is of the latter that we are here to treat.”


Almost 4 decades after the adoption of the Constitution for the United States of America, James Kent, a former Justice of the New York Supreme Court and Chancellor of New York, wrote what has been highly regarded in America as an authoritative piece on early American jurisprudence. Kent’s Commentaries on American Law,” Lecture 8, “Of Truces, passports, and Treaties of Peace,” the opening paragraph states:

“HAVING considered the rights and duties appertaining to a state of war, I proceed to examine the law of nations relative to negotiations, conventions, and treaties, which either interrupt the war, or terminate peace.”

Section 2 of Lecture 8 goes on as follows:

“A passport, or safe conduct, is a privilege granted in war, and exempting the party from the effects of its operation, during the time, and to the extent prescribed in the permission. It flows from the sovereign authority; but the power of granting a passport may be delegated by the sovereign to persons in subordinate command, and they are invested with that power either by an express commission, or by the nature of their trust. The general of an army, from the very nature of his power, can grant safe conducts; but the permission is riot transferable by the person named in the passport, for it maybe that the government had special reasons for granting the privilege to the very individual named, and it is to be presumed to be personal.”


As we can see from Vattel and Kent, both frequently quoted authorities used by SCOTUS, a “passport” is the privilege of safe conduct during wartime. The following is a basic history of the U.S. Passport from Wikipedia that affirms Vattel and Kent:

“American consular officials issued passports to some citizens of some of the thirteen states during the War for Independence (1775–1783). Passports were sheets of paper printed on one side, included a description of the bearer, and were valid for three to six months. The minister to France, Benjamin Franklin, based the design of passports issued by his mission on that of the French passport.


“From 1776 to 1783, no state government had a passport requirement. The Articles of Confederation government (1783–1789) did not have a passport requirement.


“The Department of Foreign Affairs of the war period also issued passports, and the department, carried over by the Articles of Confederation government (1783–1789), continued to issue passports. In July 1789, the Department of Foreign Affairs was carried over by the government established under the Constitution. In September of that year, the name of the department was changed to Department of State. The department handled foreign relations and issued passports, and, until the mid-19th century had various domestic duties.


“For decades thereafter, passports were issued not only by the Department of State but also by states and cities, and by notaries public. For example, an internal passport dated 1815 was presented to Massachusetts citizen George Barker to allow him to travel as a free black man to visit relatives in Southern slave states. Passports issued by American authorities other than the Department of State breached propriety and caused confusion abroad. Some European countries refused to recognize passports not issued by the Department of State, unless United States consular officials endorsed them. The problems led the Congress in 1856 to give to the Department of State the sole authority to issue passports.


“From 1789 through late 1941, **THE CONSTITUTIONALLY ESTABLISHED GOVERNMENT,** required passports of citizens only during two periods: during the American Civil War (1861–1865), as well as during and shortly after World War I (1914–1918). The passport requirement of the Civil War era lacked statutory authority. During World War I (1914–1918), European countries instituted passport requirements. The Travel Control Act of May 22, 1918, permitted the president, when the United States was at war, to proclaim a passport requirement, and President Wilson issued such a proclamation on August 18, 1918. World War I ended on November 11, 1918, but the passport requirement lingered until March 3, 1921, the last day of the Wilson administration.


“In Europe, general peace between the end of the Napoleonic Wars (1815) and the beginning of World War I (1914), and development of rail roads, gave rise to international travel by large numbers of people. Countries such as Czarist Russia and the Ottoman Empire maintained passport requirements. After World War I, many European countries retained their passport requirements. Foreign passport requirements undercut the absence of a passport requirement for Americans, under United States law, between 1921 and 1941.


“There was an absence of a passport requirement under United States law between 1921 and 1941. World War II (1939–1945) again led to passport requirements under the Travel Control Act of 1918.


“The contemporary period of required passports for Americans under United States law began on November 29, 1941. A 1978 amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 made it unlawful to enter or depart the United States without an issued passport even in peacetime.”


The following are relevant sections from the United States Code regarding passports:

Title 22 U.S.C. § 212 – Persons entitled to passport

No passport shall be granted or issued to or verified for any other persons than those OWING ALLEGIANCE, whether citizens or not, to the United States.


22 U.S. Code § 2705 – Documentation of citizenship

The following documents shall have the same force and effect as proof of United States citizenship as certificates of naturalization or of citizenship issued by the Attorney General or by a court having naturalization jurisdiction:

(1) A passport, during its period of validity (if such period is the maximum period authorized by law), issued by the Secretary of State to a citizen of the United States.


On the DS-11 U.S Passport Application, it says right on the top WHAT TO SUBMIT WITH THIS FORM:

1. PROOF OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP: Evidence of U.S. Citizenship AND a photocopy of the front (and back, if there is printed information) must be submitted with your application.


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Title 8 of the United States Code is in regard to Aliens and Nationality. In section 1101, it lists the definition of a “national of the United States.” It says:

(22) The term “national of the United States” means (A) a citizen of the United States, or (B) a person who, though not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the United States.


CAVEAT EMPTOR! The patriot gurus from the likes of Family Guardian and SEDM are not telling you the whole truth and falsifying information on a U.S. passport can result in fines or jail time!

Title 18 U.S.C. § 1542 – Flase statement in application and use of passport

Whoever willfully and knowingly makes any false statement in an application for passport with intent to induce or secure the issuance of a passport under the authority of the United States, either for his own use or the use of another, contrary to the laws regulating the issuance of passports or the rules prescribed pursuant to such laws; or

Whoever willfully and knowingly uses or attempts to use, or furnishes to another for use any passport the issue of which was secured in any way by reason of any false statement—

Shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 25 years (if the offense was committed to facilitate an act of international terrorism (as defined in section 2331 of this title)), 20 years (if the offense was committed to facilitate a drug trafficking crime (as defined in section 929(a) of this title)), 10 years (in the case of the first or second such offense, if the offense was not committed to facilitate such an act of international terrorism or a drug trafficking crime), or 15 years (in the case of any other offense), or both.


The “national of the United States,” “non-citizen national” and “citizen of the United States” all mean the same thing, they owe paramount allegiance to the United States. This is a construct of the >NEW< 14th Amendment political system, which flipped original allegiance on it’s head[2] and made the the states subordinate to the federal authority.[3] This undefined power, that exists under the authority of Congress,[4] is in direct opposition to the power structure that was founded. “Original allegiance,” as I refer to the founding structure, is explained as follows:

“[A]llegiance imports an obligation on the citizen or subject, the correlative right to which resides in the sovereign power: allegiance in this country is NOT DUE TO CONGRESS, but to the people with whom the sovereign power is found; it is therefore, by the people only that any alteration can be made of the existing institutions with respect to allegiance. […] Allegiance is fitted to sovereignty, and, whenever we discover sovereignty, we affirm that a correspondent allegiance must exist somewhere. The States of this Union are sovereign, and a celebrated writer of this country has justly said that every citizen sustains a two-fold political capacity first, with respect to the State; secondly, with respect to the United States.” ~31 Annals of Congress, pg. 1045 (1818) [EMPHASIS ADDED]


Original formula for allegiance in these United States of America:
People(state) > state govt > federal govt

Post-Reconstruction formula for allegiance in the United States.
Federal govt > STATE OF ________ > 14th Amendment citizen subject

The claim that one can get a passport as an “American national” who is not subject to the 14th Amendment is quite frankly absurd. The act of getting permission from the federal government to travel is not going to alter one’s political status. Allegiance fundamentally does not work that way. In order to apply for the privilege of a passport, one has to give the United States paramount allegiance. Since 1860s — specifically 1868 — paramount allegiance had been shifted from state to federal, as declared by section 1, and given authority by section 5, of the dubiously-“ratified” 14th Amendment.[5] Those two sections combined read:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States and SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION THEREOF, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside [and] the CONGRESS SHALL HAVE THE POWER TO ENFORCE, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.” [EMPHASIS ADDED]

A presumption of law was created regarding citizenship[6] and Congress declared authority over persons (which was intended to safeguard the rights of the newly freed slaves) subject to its jurisdiction, OUTSIDE of the hard letter of the various constitutions in the Union. Some claim their physical birth in a state of the Union (not in D.C.) trumps the presumption of federal nationality, but that assumption is sorely mistaken when you apply the Law of Nations in regard to birth and naturalization concepts like jus soli (birthright of soil) and jus sanguinis (birthright of blood). Both modes are employed by the United States to tighten its matrix over the people.


There is only one way to rebut the presumption of citizenship (allegiance), and that is by formal expatriation of the 14th Amendment by repatriation to a single Union republic, guaranteed by the Federal Constitution.

“Expatriating a U.S. citizen SUBJECT to the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment on the ground that, after reaching the age of 18, the person has obtained foreign citizenship or DECLARED ALLEGIANCE TO A FOREIGN STATE[7] generally will not be possible absent substantial evidence, apart from the act itself, that the individual specifically intended to relinquish U.S. citizenship. An express state- ment of renunciation of U.S. citizenship would suffice.” [EMPHASIS ADDED]


—> In the follow-up article, we will tackle the elements of expatriation in regard to the 14th Amendment and discuss repatriation to a Union republic as guaranteed by Article IV, Section 4 of the FedCon.


[1] –

[2] – “The first section of the Constitutional amendment which includes these invaluable provisions is in fact a new charter of liberty to the citizens of the United States; is the utter destruction of the pestilent heresy of State-Rights, which constantly menaced the prosperity and even the existence of the Republic; and is the formal bestowment of Nationality [allegiance] upon the wise Federal system which was the outgrowth of our successful Revolution against Great Britain.” ~James G. Blaine, Twenty Years In Congress: From Lincoln to Garfield, pg. 30 [emphasis added]

“And in making this extension of citizenship, we are not confining the breadth and scope of our efforts to the negro. It is for the white man as well. We intend to make citizenship National. Heretofore, a man has been a citizen of the United States because he was a citizen of some- one of the States: now, we propose to reverse that, and make him a citizen of any State where he chooses to reside, by defining in advance his National citizenship-” ~James G. Blaine, Political Discussions, Legislative, Diplomatic and Popular, 1856-1886, pg. 64

“Its opening section settled all conflicts and contradictions on this question by a comprehensive declaration which defined national citizenship, and gave to it precedence of the citizenship of a State. ‘All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States, and of the States wherein they reside.’ These pregnant words distinctly reversed the origin and character of American citizenship. Instead of a man being a citizen of the United States because he was a citizen of one of the States, he was now made a citizen of any State in which he might choose to reside because he was antecedently a citizen of the United States.” ~James G. Blaine, Twenty Years in Congress: From Lincoln to Garfield, Vol. II, pp. 312, 313.

[3] – “We are thus enabled to see what was the Congressional interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment. The same force in the Republican Party which secured the adoption of the Amendment has also given us its ideal of the purpose and scope of that constitutional measure by the laws thereunder enacted. They meant to change the form of the American Commonwealth. The States were to exist only in name. Their legislatures and their courts were to be reduced to impotency. The citizens of the States were now to live directly under the surveillance of the Federal Government, looking to it for protection in his private affairs and fearing its avenging power should he transgress the least of its commandments.

“Into the hands of Congress was placed the sovereign power of the Nation. No longer was the National Government to be one of delegated powers, and no part of the sovereign power was to be held any longer by the States. Section one of the Fourteenth Amendment was intended ultimately to create out of the former Union one centralized consolidated government with the supreme power vested in the Federal authorities in Washington. Such was the ideal of the Radicals.” ~Charles Wallace Collins, “The Fourteenth Amendment and the States,” pg. 20 (1912)

[4] – “Although this race situation may be said to have been the immediate or proximate cause of the adoption of the Amendment, as well as its immediate field of operation, in the mind of the Radicals it had a much wider scope. To them it meant the ultimate centralization of power into the hands of the Federal Government. It meant the death knell of the doctrine of States’ Rights—the ultimate nationalization of all civil rights and the consequent abolition of state control over private rights and duties of the individual. It meant the passing over of the police power of the State into the police power of the national government, thereby giving Congress undefined and unlimited powers whereby it would be enabled to enter fields of legislation from which hitherto it had been barred.” ~Charles Wallace Collins, “The Fourteenth Amendment and the States,” pg. 45 (1912)

[5] – “Thus, the present use and expansion of the 14th Amendment is a sham– serving as a crutch and hoodwink to precipitate a quasi-legal approach for overthrow of the tender balances and protections of limitation found in the Constitution.” ~John Rarick, Congressional Record-House, June 13, 1967, pg. 15641


[6] – “Someone having been born in the US is presumed to continue to be a US citizen in the absence of proper legal evidence to the contrary. — Perkins v. Elg (1939) 307 US 325; Ex parte Lopez (S.D. Tex 1934) 6 F.Supp 342.

“Once acquired, this Fourteenth Amendment citizenship was not to be shifted, canceled, or diluted at the will of the Federal Government, the States, or any other governmental unit.” ~Affroiyum v Rusk, 387 U.S. 253, 262 (1967)

[7] – “Foreign states. Nations which are outside the United States. TERM MAY ALSO REFER TO ANOTHER STATE; i.e. a sister state.” ~Black’ Law 6th Edition [EMPHASIS ADDED]

“Private international law assumes a more important aspect in the United States than elsewhere, for the reason that the several states, although united under the same sovereign authority and governed by the same laws for all national purposes embraced by the Federal Constitution, are otherwise, at least so far as private international law is concerned, in the same relation as FOREIGN COUNTRIES. The great majority of questions of private international law are therefore subject to the same rules when they arise between two states of the Union as when they arise between two foreign countries, and in the ensuing pages the words “state,” “nation,” and “country” are used synonymously and interchangeably, there being no intention to distinguish between the several states of the Union and foreign countries by the use of varying terminology.” 16 Am Jur 2d, Conflict of Laws, Sec. 2

** I found it it very interesting the author of the piece in Wikipedia decided to use this interesting language:

“From 1789 through late 1941, THE CONSTITUTIONALLY ESTABLISHED GOVERNMENT, required passports of citizens only during two periods: during the American Civil War (1861–1865), as well as during and shortly after World War I (1914–1918).”

Was there another government established under the 14th Amendment?

“Formerly, the structure of the federal constitutional government was so distinct from that of the States, that each might usefully be examined and discussed apart from the other; but the points of contact and dependence have been so largely increased by the recent amendments to the federal Constitution that a different course is now deemed advisable.” ~Thomas M. Cooley, University of Michigan, “The General Principles of Constitutional Law in the United States of America” (1880)

“By imposing explicit limits on the powers of the States and granting Congress the power to enforce them, the [14th] Amendment “fundamentally altered the balance of state and federal power struck by the Constitution.” Seminole Tribe, 517 U. S., at 59. When Congress enacts appropriate legislation to enforce this Amendment, see City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U. S. 507 (1997), federal interests are paramount, and Congress may assert an authority over the States which would be otherwise unauthorized by the Constitution. Fitzpatrick, supra, at 456.” –Alden v. Maine, 527 U.S. 706 (1999) [emphasis added]