[Update] This afternoon I ran into J.P. Garman looking as happy as I'd seen him in months.
Garman is the man without a country I wrote about this summer in No Lands Man who has spent his entire adult life trying to convince authorities he is a citizen of the United States.
A bungled California adoption meant that Garman wasn’t considered a U.S. citizen. No other country claimed him either. With no Social Security card he worked short-time jobs under the table, frequently moving.
When Garman landed in Utah, he decided to make another go at becoming legit. He went to the media and—until recently—it seemed like a bad idea. When an article about him appeared in the Deseret Morning News, Garman, now a celebrity, lost what work he’d been able to get to that point.
But today, he’s sporting a spanking new Social Security card.
Following years of working through California public agencies, Garman recently received a new birth certificate listing his birthplace as California, instead of “unknown.” That led to the Social Security card.
Garman—who is hoping to get a Utah ID tomorrow—is brimming with ideas for using his new Social Security number to start a business of his own. (Ted McDonough)