Instapundit point us to this incident, in which a citizen was denied the right to travel because he damaged the chip in his passport: "The claim has been made that breaking the chip in the passport shows that you disrespect the privilege of owning a passport, and that the airport was justified in denying this child from using the passport."
But is holding a passport a "privilege" or a "right"? Interestingly the dissenters in U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark (Fuller, joined by Harlan) noted that "birthright" or the notion that soil determines citizenship, was associated with subjecthood--under common law, anyone born on soil belonging to the king could only leave the country with his explicit consent. That's why that argued that in 1776 the U.S. broke from not just allegiance to the crown, but also from the idea of birthright. They argued that American citizenship was based upon the principles of 1776--mutual consent between current citizens and any new would-be citizen. It seems some of our bureaucrats are following the logic of "birthright citizenship" all too well.