US has a passport problem

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Let'sgoflying!, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If yours doesn't expire in the next year, no big deal for you but there are over a million that are going to have a problem once travel resumes.
    I had a trip planned to Norway in August is why I am interested.
    As expected, they cancelled my flight.
    My passport was going to be fine, it doesn't expire til January.
    However what about when I reschedule?
    The passport office is basically closed except for verified "life and death emergencies". There are expats who are stuck in the US while here visiting and cannot get out to their home, and there are US folks abroad who cannot return. That is all virus related but many of these have passports which expired during C-19 and have been unable to travel despite available flights, probably won't be able to for months.
    The pp office (check out their website) says they are shuttered for some time to come but can't commit to dates AND they say when they do ramp back up there will be a backlog to clear before they can handle any new applications. So if you submit your pp, they will have it indefinitely.
    I don't want to submit it early in case things open up (might need it to visit my ailing father before January) and don't want to book any intl vacations til I have a replacement in hand.
    Apparently Senators and are begging them to work from home or modify the offices so some work can get done; or extend expiry dates but ...nothing doing.
    Anyone here good with fancy paper/ink/embossing?!
     
  2. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    It's hard to understand. Workers at the passport office don't have a bad workplace situation, do they? I don't think any of them face the public, the way a worker at driver's license office does. Is it just themselves in the office? So yeah, why can't they just do what other offices do: less than full staffing in the office, with some barriers and some hygiene protocols, and those with back-office jobs working at home if they can.
     
  3. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    If that’s truly what your representatives have said... here’s your letter.

    “I didn’t hire you to pretend to beg your staff to go to work and provide essential government services. Cut off their pay and accrual time toward retirement and you’ll see an amazing desire to return to work. All sorts of other essentials out here haven’t missed a day since this started. I apparently need a new representative if you can’t figure out how to keep them as open as air traffic controllers or the TSA are.”

    Welcome to being essentials, Passport office!

    All sorts of folks haven’t missed a day of work since this started. Join the club.

    If Senators are saying they have no control over that, they’re lying. Or we have a very big problem and they need to be gone.

    If you can’t control your staff, you’re useless to me. Bye.

    I’ve gotten an FAA green card during lockdown. They’re an agency who had an open database and could easily have just said “look up their airman status”.

    I can’t think of a more useless item than the green plastic.

    If they can do it, passport certainly can.

    They just need some money motivation straight out of their wallets. Just like everybody else.

    Want money? Figure out how to open. Adapt like everybody else.
     
  4. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    Tell your senators to pass a bill that automatically extends everyone's expired passport for a year.
     
  5. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Will we also need other countries to accept expired US passports?
     
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  6. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser!

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  7. catmandu

    catmandu Cleared for Takeoff

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    Contact any nefarious character from your favorite media streaming platform. They seem to be able to get papers pretty easily, even in a post 9-11 world.
     
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  8. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    Pot dispensary, essential (which is fine with me)
    Passport agency, not essential. (that is not fine with me)
     
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  9. NoHeat

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    And that would be a problem.

    Along with all sorts of U.S. offices that accept passports as ID.
     
  10. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The passport office has started processing routine applications again, but it says applications submitted since mid-March can expect 8-10 more weeks in processing.

    While it would be nice for the employees to work from home, because of the nature of the passport as ID and legal presence ("citizenship") it is considered a security risk to do so. (Many DMVs are the same way). There should be a way to do it if everything were scanned in and electronic, but I think that's a long way off and they're going to push paper for a long time. Elected officials can't fix that in the short term.

    So routine processing is stuck, but they are, apparently, still able to handle emergency cases - though it's pretty hard to meet that definition.
     
  11. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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  12. tiger

    tiger Pre-takeoff checklist

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    State department employees aren't Senators' "staff" to "control".

    Senators can drag in the head of the Bureau of Consular Affairs to berate in committee, and career civil servants may not wish to make enemies of too many of them, but they can't formally make federal employees "do stuff" on a day-to-day basis. It's a matter for the administration.
     
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  13. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Welcome to the real problem.
     
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  14. tiger

    tiger Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm personally quite partial to the separation of powers...
     
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  15. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Between actual branches sure. Not for entrenched bureaucracies that really don’t answer to any voter nor can be controlled (apparently) by voters or representatives.

    Begging some bureaucracy boss who wasn’t elected to come in and hope you can get them to do what you originally authorized them to do, or change their tasking?

    We do this all the time just fine in the private sector.

    There’s no significant reason to allow a bureaucrat to say no to anything the people paying them ask them to do.

    Don’t like it? There’s the door. Just like any other business.

    Clearly it’s possible or ATC and TSA wouldn’t be running if they didn’t “want to”.

    Boo hoo. Go to work.

    Government employees are already on thin ice with most of us. Pensions died decades ago as unsustainable in the private sector. Funding those with massive debts, is already a bridge too far.

    Pretending they’ve got it so hard and can’t do the job, when the rest of us haven’t missed a beat and adapted in days, not weeks, is ludicrous.

    Lazy asses. Move. Or be gone. We’re tired of coddling them like children. The temperature of the country for a while now has been, “We aren’t asking anymore.”

    * Typed while grabbing coffee between three vendor meetings, an internal meeting and my usual work. Wife is over taking care of patients. These bureaucrats can eff right off and go back to work.
     
  16. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    Has there been any issues or rumors heard with renewing Global Entry?
     
  17. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Global Entry was already a mess even before COVID as they pulled the people processing those out to work on trying to deal with the masses of illegal detainees. They already gave a year of grace on that I believe.

    Margy's GE came in short order however. I think they may have finally recovered from the pre-COVID issues and are back at home dealing with GE processing.
     
  18. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    Do they still require a face to face interview and new pic for the renew?
     
  19. tiger

    tiger Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My GE renewal didn't late last year. The new one came with the old 5+ year old photo (which while not attractive is becoming increasingly flattering).
     
  20. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    I applied to renew my Global Entry in December 2019 and am still waiting for conditional approval. My wife's approval took 3 days but we can't find any open interview slots until September in Tucson (she needs to interview again) and if she does not interview by December 2020, she has to start all over and loses the $100.

    We are in Reno so we plan to fly our Dakota to Tucson for the interview.

    It's a giant scam and the American people keep sending the same people to Washington who have botched this completely.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020
  21. tiger

    tiger Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm talking about actual branches. Your views on bureaucracy in general may be completely accurate, but complaining about Senators who tell constituents that they can't order State Department employees to go back to work is just misguided.
     
  22. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    I guess they couldn’t “just tell” FAA to stay open either, then. Huh.

    Amazing how it’s apparently all just made up.

    I really don’t care who tells them to get their asses back to work, really. Senator, President, Comgresscritter, pick anybody who I can fire.
     
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  23. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller Final Approach

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    And when you pull up to the dirt-road border between Sudan and Egypt, and the Control Officeer says: "Your passport has expired". Now you have given the tin-pot despot a license to demand a bribe. No thanks, do it right...

    -Skip
     
  24. Eric Lehto

    Eric Lehto Pre-Flight

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    One data point.....I mailed in my application to renew my passport back in early March, right before the **** hit the fan. Got my new book and passport card in the mail this week. Haven't gotten my old passport back yet, but clearly they are processing applications. Of course, mine went through Texas so that may have helped. Missed a bunch of calls and a voice mail yesterday from somebody claiming to be from the National Passport Center in Portsmouth, NH wanting to talk about a question with my application. He hasn't called back and I already have my passport in hand, so I won't be going out of my way to talk to him.
     
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  25. wayne

    wayne Pattern Altitude

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    I'm in IT at a major bank. We are all working from home. Unless someone needs to physically touch hardware, and very few have permissions to enter the data center, we are all remote right now. All of your financial data is being handled remotely.

    Government agencies just have never dealt with the issue. Just old-school, "everyone comes into the office". They don't need to worry about customers, costs and profit. Bad weather? Just close the office and continue to pay everyone. Pandemic? Just close the office longer and continue to pay everyone. We can't do that in business. Nope.

    They need to figure it out and get back to work.
     
  26. Snowmass

    Snowmass Pre-takeoff checklist

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    A good point but who sets the renewal date of a U.S, passport? I assume the U.S. does. If so, then simply send a letter to all passport holders stating that one year is added to the expiration date which the holder can insert in the passport. And all overseas consulates could do the same. And such a letter could be sent to the appropriate governmental departments for all countries in which we relationships.
     
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  27. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Just go ahead and say it. Deep State.
     
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  28. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Actually, there are functions of the government that I don't want taking work home. That includes the classified stuff and thing with substantial privacy implications.

    Beyond that, "government" and "good IT management" are not words that usually go together. But they can pay bazillions to consultants and contractors to figure it out.
     
  29. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Nah. Leeches with no skills other than shuffling embossed paper, who can’t be bothered to show up, while the rest of us work to pay their bills, definitely live in the shallows.
     
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  30. wayne

    wayne Pattern Altitude

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    What are they "taking home"? Yes, there are functions that require physical paper and that needs to stay at the office. How much is on the computer, which is fine anywhere with the right security.

    I was referencing passports, not security clearances.


    Wayne
     
  31. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pattern Altitude

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    My SENTRI card is expired and I have been given a year grace period while they take great time to renew it.
     
  32. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    All passport applications and photos are on paper. That may include original birth certificates and other documents. Even for renewals. And renewals include the old passport. So the passport processing person is working with paper documents.

    The stuff gets scanned at some point, but original passports and some other original documents get returned.

    If they could make it like the DMV with RealID, where the clerk at the acceptance office scans stuff in and invalidates the old passport, it would make electronic processing easier.
     
  33. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    Yes, it was messed up last year. I had to go to Chicago to get it done because they closed the Kansas City office, for the reason stated above.
     
  34. Pugs

    Pugs Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yep - I had a renewal "interview" in late May canceled. I've sent notes to both my senators and representative that there are zero appointments for six months in MD, VA or DC. Great the program is successful but the renewal is overly complex. I live in the same place, married to the same person, have the same job, the same security clearance (and there are none higher) and my travel using the last card was to Canada, the UK and Ireland. Not exactly a threat. They have access to all the data I just posted. How about you mail me the damn card?
     
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  35. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They've not had interviews available since before the turn of the year (except at a few far flung Canadian border outposts). My wife did hers at the LAX checkpoint when we got back from Australia. Other than the CBE being rather rude, it went quickly and easily.
     
  36. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    Because they can be paid not to work. Or paid to not work.
     
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  37. Jmcmanna

    Jmcmanna Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The FAA and most other federal agencies are under the executive branch of the federal government. The president appoints secretaries, administrators, etc...so the president has the power to do this. Congress, being the legislative branch, can certainly ask, but they can’t outright force which agencies are open and which aren’t.

    The whole FAA isn’t open right now...the TRACON Kevin and I work at has tons of FAA employees and contractors that do all sorts of things. Right now it’s is just ATC personnel and Tech Ops personnel in the building...basically every day looks like a Sunday in the building.
     
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  38. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Acutally, the president appoints but needs confirmation from the Senate. While the FAA is enabled to generate their own regulation, Congress can, and at times has (Basic MED is an example) directed the federal agencies to do some specific thing. Of course, sometimes the FAA in stark violation of the Constitution disobeys Congress on things (like Airman record dissemination or reporting on why the flight restrictions are necessary).
     
  39. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    This thread inspired me to apply for a Global Entry renewal since I am within one year of expiration. My approval came... the next day!

    I assume that I'll eventually get a new card, although I've never had to show it.
     
  40. 35 AoA

    35 AoA Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'm mildly enjoying listening to denverpilot's ranting. He might be technically off base (in the sense of who is who's actual legal "boss"), but in the spirit of what is correct, I don't think he is. I've seen plenty of bureaucratic support entities in my life forget that they are there to support, not the other way around. And a similar amount who just throw in the towel at the first possible excuse. Not pointing fingers at anyone specifically, but the fed govt is a model of extreme inefficiency. This shouldn't be the Soviet Union, but our govt bureaucracies are doing their best to model themselves after them without even realizing it.
     
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