I remember watching movies as a kid about American spies in the Soviet Union. To travel the country they needed “papers”, documents to prove they were citizens. As freedom loving Americans we traveled our country at will; no “papers” required. The use of “papers” in these movies was one of the best creative devices / tools for showing the distinction between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. . It struck home with everyone in the theater. We’re free. They’re not.
If you don’t remember those days, then the story of U.S. government agents checking “papers” for people on a San Francisco flight to JFK probably doesn’t chill you. But it should.
We forget that there used to be a time when all you needed to get on (and off) a domestic flight was a ticket. That’s it.
Then terrorist struck. To protect us, we gave up a bit of our freedom. We agreed to have our identity checked before we got on the flight. You may remember that some people railed against that, but ultimately lost.
Now, to get off the plane the passengers had to prove (again) that they belonged.
This isn’t to protect us. The plane landed safely.
This is the FEDERAL government forcing (yes forcing) people to prove they are allowed to be in the U.S. before and after the flight, detaining them if they can’t.
Are we really so afraid of illegal immigrants that we are willing to cede even more freedom to the Feds?