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View Full Version : How do LEO determin one's citizen status?


Lugiahua
06-11-2012, 12:24 PM
A few months ago, during a pull over, the LEO in charge saw my rifle case and ammo can, then he asked if I am a US citizen. I showed him my passport and he went on his way.

I was wondering later, how do LEO confirms one's citizen status without a document?(does their datebase on patrol car shows it?)
what if I didn't have my passport with me? could he confiscated my firearms/arrest by claiming that I was not a citizen?

obviously not every citizen has a passport, and almost no one carry their birth certificate with them all time.

winnre
06-11-2012, 12:36 PM
Why would he need to know that? I cannot think of any laws on the books that are legal for citizens to break that immigrants cannot. I am an immigrant and now a US citizen, as far as I know all laws have always applied equally to me.

Lugiahua
06-11-2012, 12:46 PM
I thought there is a federal law says that non-immigrant foreigner (visitor, student, etc) can not own firearms without hunting license.

mc21
06-11-2012, 12:52 PM
Non citizens must be going to place that allows the firing of firearms to be legally transporting a firearm in the vehicle. Citizens do not have that same restriction. I think that is what wa stated in the penal codes. Wait for someone to confirm.

russ69
06-11-2012, 12:54 PM
I believe the State Dept is the final arbitrator on citizenship, so law enforcement can't determine status, but they can ask about your citizenship. There is no absolute proof because you can denounce your citizenship at any time. The normal documents are generally accepted but real proof requires checking with the state department.

Lugiahua
06-11-2012, 1:05 PM
I believe this hasn't be brought up in those "don't talk to police" threads yet.

Do we have obligation to answer regarding to citizenship during pull over/welfare check/whatever? Can police demand us to show proof of citizenship?

What if one doesn't have the proof with him/her in person?
say an individual does not have a passport, and does not have birth certificate/naturalization certificate within immediate range?

littlejake
06-11-2012, 1:08 PM
OP: Interesting that you were driving with your passport. Were you down south near the INS checkpoint on I5 north of Oceanside? It's also an interesting question from the LEO.

Any chance he was racially profiling you?

russ69 -- one may renounce one's US citizenship only on foreign soil by making a declaration at an embassy.

Lugiahua
06-11-2012, 1:13 PM
OP: Interesting that you were driving with your passport. Were you down south near the INS checkpoint on I5 north of Oceanside? It's also an interesting question from the LEO.

Any chance he was racially profiling you?

russ68 -- one may renounce one's US citizenship only on foreign soil by making a declaration at an embassy.

I frequently travel oversea for different reasons, so I simply keep the passport in my wallet.
It is possible of racial profiling IMO, since I have Asian appearance, speak English with a mixed accents between Mandarin and Irish and have a very unique Gaeilge name :cool:

HowardW56
06-11-2012, 1:35 PM
A few months ago, during a pull over, the LEO in charge saw my rifle case and ammo can, then he asked if I am a US citizen. I showed him my passport and he went on his way.

I was wondering later, how do LEO confirms one's citizen status without a document?(does their datebase on patrol car shows it?)
what if I didn't have my passport with me? could he confiscated my firearms/arrest by claiming that I was not a citizen?

obviously not every citizen has a passport, and almost no one carry their birth certificate with them all time.

Where were you stopped, was it in California? Border area? What agency stopped you?

Lugiahua
06-11-2012, 3:21 PM
No, I was in Bay Area, don't remember the exactly agency, was a few months ago.
I wasn't really concern about the question, just wondering recently because never heard anyone asked them same.

wjc
06-11-2012, 6:16 PM
Well. back in the good old days only citizens could have drivers licenses so it could be assumed the person was a citizen from having that in their possession.

These days with fake id's being manufactured for the illegals by unscrupulous types and L.A.'s rules to give illegals a pass, it's getting tough to tell who is a citizen and who isn't.

I suppose the LEO *might* have that data in their computers but I couldn't tell you for sure.

You could always ask them something like "Who was called the Yankee Clipper?" :D

joash
06-11-2012, 6:26 PM
Just stay in LA. Police aren't allowed to inquire re. citizenship.

eta34
06-11-2012, 8:09 PM
LEO here. Nothing in my computer would tell me. Honestly, I don't know how I would figure it out. There are times when I have arrested foreign nationals (mostly Mexican, some South American and a few Jamaicans) and after fingerprinting, INS will send us a detainer. Outside of that, I have No clue.

Mssr. Eleganté
06-11-2012, 8:22 PM
Well. back in the good old days only citizens could have drivers licenses so it could be assumed the person was a citizen from having that in their possession.

How far back were these "good old days"? Members of my family have had California drivers licenses since the 1970's while they were citizens of another county.

Sealawyer
06-11-2012, 10:15 PM
They could call into the LESC in Vermont for citizenship inquiries.

wjc
06-11-2012, 10:16 PM
How far back were these "good old days"? Members of my family have had California drivers licenses since the 1970's while they were citizens of another county.

You're assuming I'm talking about California. They would still have green cards, no?

The Original Godfather
06-11-2012, 11:14 PM
Just to clarify... only citizens can transport guns to places other than a range or hunting? How about legal residents?

Mssr. Eleganté
06-11-2012, 11:54 PM
You're assuming I'm talking about California.

Yeah, for some reason I assumed you were talking about California. So which States used to require U.S. citizenship in order to obtain a drivers license? Or were you not talking about the United States?

Or by "citizen" did you really mean "citizen or legal alien"?

Mulay El Raisuli
06-12-2012, 5:16 AM
I frequently travel oversea for different reasons, so I simply keep the passport in my wallet.
It is possible of racial profiling IMO, since I have Asian appearance, speak English with a mixed accents between Mandarin and Irish and have a very unique Gaeilge name :cool:


Only in America! What a country!


The Raisuli

winnre
06-12-2012, 9:13 AM
FWIW, if a non-citizen claims they are a US citizen they can be deported.

Mesa Tactical
06-12-2012, 9:21 AM
Why would he need to know that? I cannot think of any laws on the books that are legal for citizens to break that immigrants cannot. I am an immigrant and now a US citizen, as far as I know all laws have always applied equally to me.

In Arizona LEOs need to know.