Sunday, October 2, 2011

ID Rules in New Jersey

 Papers Please! from Beat the Chip:
My life has been basically destroyed because I don’t have a valid state-issued photo ID.
Thanks to terrorists, it is illegal for any employer in my state to hire me.
I am a natural born citizen of the United States, born and raised in the State of New Jersey. I have lived here most of my life. I have never been convicted of a felony nor even a misdemeanor. I have never been arrested, nor even ever received so much as a parking ticket. I do not receive any funds from Welfare, Social Security, or any other government program. I am not a terrorist.
Yet, in the State of New Jersey, it is illegal for any employer to hire me, and has been for about the last 6 years.
Among this nightmare situation, this woman finds herself the subject of sexism:
Some of these documents will only be accepted for certain cases. For example, a copy of your civil marriage certificate can only be used if you are a female trying to establish the cause of the name on your birth certificate differing from your currently used name. I never changed my name when I got married, therefore I can not use my marriage certificate. 
Like the author of this post, I never changed my name when I got married. You'd think retaining your maiden name in the 21st century wouldn't be an issue in the United States, but it is. (I still get a raised eyebrow or a confused reaction when some people find my last name isn't the same as my husband's.)

As is pointed out in the piece, New Jersey has the toughest, most rigid requirements to get an ID. Ones that are sexist, classist and draconian. Which is the point.

My driver's license is up for renewal this spring. I've lived in the same place for more than 15 years, worked for the same place for 10, not divorced, etc. While I don't have to go through anything close to what this woman is going through, I have to provide a birth certificate, which means I have to shell out $70.00 to get the approved one from L.A.County. Money that is a good chunk and hurts to pay but at least I can do it. What if someone doesn't have the money?

Homeland Security. Making it safer for us all.

No comments:

Post a Comment