Numbers

It’s New Zealand today, and the world’s pretty normal. An illegal immigrant gives birth. So what?

Well, the baby doesn’t get a birth certificate, because the mother can’t go to the hospital for fear of being chucked out of the country.

So the kid has no I.D. Can’t get a passport, can’t apply for school, and has no entitlement to medical treatment.

Grows up out of the system. Has no nationality.

They aren’t NZ’ers, because they “aren’t here”- and the kid’s never seen, never known his mother’s country…

Heck, the mother’s probably some kind of refugee anyway, can’t/won’t go home. Anyhow, since she’s not here through official channels, they can’t get help.

Basically, the kid will live under fake I.D, or die young from a treatable medical condition, or be a hermit in the bush. Who knows? His assumed eventual prison sentence might give him a number, and, once in the system, he might live a fairly normal life-in a correction/detention centre.

But that’s not the point. The point is that you thought that you were more than a number. You thought I.D s were just handy administrative tools. Maybe they are. But like it or not, to some extent our numbers define us.

 

I don’t know how much it’s really like this of course. But it’s a sad possibility.

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