This activity was very interesting for me because it raised many questions about the legitimacy of borders and how they are decided. Who gets to decide borders? Often it is not the people who live in the country, and it is usually people who do not understand the natural borders established by the tribes and groups who live in that region. I learned today that passports are like a membership card to be able to reap the benefits provided to citizens of one specific country. Who gets to decide who is allowed to receive these benefits? Is it just based on where you were born? American citizenship is something I personally take for granted, yet it is something so many people risk their lives to potentially gain.
It’s weird to think about people being stateless because originally I would think being born and growing up somewhere would be enough to qualify you as a citizen of that place. Why do other people get to decide that some people aren’t allowed to be considered citizens of the country where they were born? Historically, passports have been used as a way to control the movement of people, as well as a means of identification for certain groups, such as how the Nazis marked Jewish passports so they could be easily identified. This makes me think about how different are we really, if the only way our differences can be identified is by a mark on a paper. Obviously some differences are more visible than others and this is just one example. Passports and other travel documents are often explained as security precautions, but nothing is done about the domestic terrorists who have one of the most powerful passports on the globe: the American passport.