Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Your Papers Please

Having proper documentation is critical in today’s legal climate. In many states we can change our documentation without surgery, all we need is a letter from a doctor or therapist. In other states you need to have surgery to change your documentation, and in some states you cannot change them at all.

Down in Alabama there is a battle going to allow you to change your driver license.
How Alabama's Driver's License Law Injures Transgender People
By Gabriel Arkles, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU LGBT & HIV Project
February 6, 2018

Many people use a driver’s license or other ID without giving it much thought. We carry it with us when we drive and show it if we get pulled over. We use it to get into a bar, board an airplane, or open a bank account. We use it to rent a car, pick up prescriptions, buy beer, claim a senior citizen discount, or check into a hotel. Sometimes we have to show it to enter an office building or make a purchase using a credit card or check. In some places, like Alabama, we need it to cast a vote.

Unfortunately, Alabama is one of nine states that still demands proof of surgery from transgender people before issuing an accurate driver’s license. For many transgender people, gender-confirming surgical procedures are an important, necessary form of medical care. But not all transgender people need or want surgery, and others can’t afford to get the treatment they need. That means that in Alabama many transgender people have no ID they can use safely.

Today, the ACLU and ACLU of Alabama filed a lawsuit challenging Alabama’s policy of restricting access to driver licenses for transgender people that accurately reflect their gender identity. The government has no business dictating what treatment transgender people get, especially as a prerequisite for a basic government service. After all, it has nothing to do with how people drive.
As with all forms of discrimination against transgender people, this problem does not affect all transgender people equally. Assault after showing ID that did not match their gender was twice as common for Black transgender people, three times as common for Middle Eastern transgender people, almost five times as common for Native transgender people, and almost eight times as common for undocumented transgender people, compared to transgender people overall.
So you don’t think we need to worry about having our ID checked; well it is now becoming more important than ever for having IDs that match your presentation.
Video: Border Agents Demand Papers From South Florida Greyhound Bus Riders, Arrest Woman
Miami New Times
By Tim Elfrink
January 22, 2018
"This is new?" a worried passenger asks while she films U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents stalking the aisle of a Greyhound bus in Fort Lauderdale and demanding proof of citizenship from the riders. Moments later, the agents arrest a passenger, pulling her and her luggage off the bus.

In fact, the tactic isn't new. Federal agents have targeted bus riders for random citizenship checks for years. But amid Washington's shutdown over the Trump administration's refusal to discuss immigration reform, the South Florida video went viral this weekend, with activists blasting the arrest as an example of enforcement gone wrong.

"Incidents like these erode public trust in police and authority figures whose job is to serve and protect our communities," says Isabel Sousa-Rodriguez, membership director for Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC), which tweeted out the video Saturday. "Without an official judicial warrant, border patrol agents should not be permitted to board the private property of the Greyhound corporation to harass its customers and violate their civil liberties."
Imagine that you, a U.S. citizen and a trans man of Latino heritage, are on a city bus and all of sudden these “officers” in full combat gear gets on the bus and demands your ID and on your ID is a picture of a woman and this helmeted with bulletproof vest on demands “Who is this?”

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