Precinct 333

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Passport-Free Travel – A Thing Of The Past

It looks like we’ll all be needing a passport if we want to see the Canadian Falls or take high tea in Victoria, BC.

In three years, U.S. citizens and Canadians will have to show passports or a federally issued ID cards linked to Homeland Security databases to re-enter the country from across the border.

The intelligence bill passed by Congress last year mandates the new identification requirements be in place by Jan. 1, 2008.

It also requires that the Department of Homeland Security have by then a registered traveler program for border travelers like those now being tested at five airport sites. The programs allow frequent travelers to avoid extra security inspections by volunteering for background checks.


This may not seem like much to folks in most of the country. After all, how often do
folks zip into Canada if they live in Missouri? But for those along the
longest unfortified border in the world, international travel has never been
terribly difficult. It appears it will be much more difficult, starting in
three years.

As a Texan, though, I want to know about travel across the southern border. Will a passport be necessary there? Or will it continue to leak like sieve, with little effort made to enforce our nation’s immigration laws?

Seems to me that we are focusing on the wrong place. Canada is not the source of our border problem – Mexico is.


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