How Passports Came to Be Used to Deny Citizenship

October 26, 2018

Professor John Torpey takes a timely look at the history of passports in an op-ed in The Conversation.

In an opinion piece in The Conversation, Professor John Torpey (History and Sociology) takes a timely look at the history of passports and their current role in restricting immigrants' access to wealthy countries, like the U.S. 

"By challenging the passport applications of people born near the Mexican border, the Trump administration is also reminding us that passports are a reflection of one’s citizenship," Torpey writes.

He adds: "We live in a world in which the entry of those who are deemed 'desireable' is greatly facilitated, while that of those deemed 'undesirable' is greatly constrained."

Torpey delves into the history of passports in his book The Invention of the Passport. 

He also spoke to WNYC's On the Media about the varying roles and meanings of passports. Listen here