Cablegate: Matching Footprints: First Time Adult Amcit Applicants From Iraq and Iran, in Syria
O 261331Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3933
INFO AMEMBASSY AMMAN
AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
NVC PORTSMOUTH 6391
HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC
DIR FBI WASHDC
UNCLAS DAMASCUS 000765
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CPAS KFRD KWMN ASEC SY IZ IR
SUBJECT: MATCHING FOOTPRINTS: FIRST TIME ADULT AMCIT APPLICANTS FROM IRAQ AND IRAN, IN SYRIA
1. A growing number of men in their early-to-mid 20s who claim to
have been born in the United States are now applying for their first
U.S. passports. Of the six individuals in the last two weeks, five
came to Syria from Iraq (including two brothers) and one from Iran.
One of the Iraqis was previously refused a passport by Embassy Cairo
due to lack of credible identity documents.
2. In every case, the applicant had a purportedly genuine U.S.
birth certificate, along with supporting materials including old
family passports and documents related to his parents' presence in
the U.S. at the time of the birth. The said documentation appears
to be valid in most cases, leaving the troublesome matter of
identity to be resolved. Family records and photograph chains can
be used to verify that the baby in the U.S. photos and the man in
the interview booth are the same person, however, in the case of the
Iraqi documents, the poor quality of the S series passports,
identity cards and citizenship certificates still can leave doubt as
to the identity of the applicant. Is it the same person, or a
similar-looking relative? In one recent case, the applicant asked
us to take a print of his foot to see if it matched the baby
footprint on the birth certificate.
3. Most applicants claimed that because of fears of political
repression, when the parents returned to their home countries they
were afraid to advertise the American identity of their children.
Therefore, they obtained local (i.e. Iraqi or Iranian) birth
certificates and documentation for the boys and apparently hid their
U.S. records. The result is fully documented foreign nationals
claiming birth in the US. The poor quality and procedures used in
Iraq and Iran during the 1980s add to the problem, because possibly
legitimate documents are difficult to distinguish from fraudulent
ones. We anticipate that regional conditions will cause the number
of these applications to increase.