Implications of Deleting the Birthplace in U.S. Passports

NSIAD-87-201: Published: Aug 27, 1987. Publicly Released: Aug 27, 1987.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reported on the implications of deleting the birthplace as a required item on U.S. passports in order to avoid possible harassment or violence from terrorists toward U.S. citizens.

GAO found that: (1) deletion of the birthplace from passports could cause some inconvenience for U.S. travelers, since several countries indicated that they would not accept passports without birthplace information or would require birth certificates; (2) several law enforcement agencies oppose the deletion; (3) those agencies with border control responsibilities believe that their jobs would become more difficult if other countries also eliminated birthplace information from their passports; and (4) the Department of State could not identify any instance of terrorists singling out an American because of birthplace information on a passport.

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