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Nov. 21, 2006, 11:58PM
U.S. to require passports for nearly all

By BEVERLEY LUMPKIN Associated Press Writer
© 2006 The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — "Nearly all air travelers entering the U.S. will be required to show passports beginning Jan. 23, including returning Americans and people from Canada and other nations in the Western Hemisphere.

The date was disclosed Tuesday by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff in an interview with The Associated Press. The Homeland Security Department plans to announce the change on Wednesday.

The department had been expected to institute the passport requirement for air travelers around the beginning of the year. Setting the date on Jan. 23 pushes the start past the holiday season.

The requirement marks a change for Americans, Canadians, Bermudians and some Mexicans.

Currently, U.S. citizens returning from other countries in the hemisphere are not required to present passports but must show other proof of citizenship such as driver's licenses or birth certificates.

Visitors from most countries in the hemisphere are required to show passports. However, people from Canada, Bermuda _ and those from Mexico who enter the U.S. frequently and have special border-crossing cards _ have been allowed to use other forms of identification, including driver's licenses.

"Right now, there are 8,000 different state and local entities in the U.S. issuing birth certificates and driver's licenses," Chertoff said. Having to distinguish phony from real in so many different documents "puts an enormous burden on our Customs and Border inspectors," he said.

In a few cases, other documents still may be used for air entry into the U.S. by some frequent travelers between the U.S. and Canada, members of the American military on official business and some U.S. merchant mariners.

Under a separate program, Homeland Security plans to require all travelers, including Americans, entering the U.S. by land or sea to show a passport or an alternative security identification card starting as early as January 2008.

The Homeland Security Department estimates that about one in four Americans has a passport. Some people have balked at the $97 price tag.

The Sept. 11 Commission said in its report, "For terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons."

The commission recommended strengthening security of travel documents. A 2004 law passed by Congress mandated the change to require passports as the only acceptable travel document, with few exceptions, but the exact date had been in question.

Canadian officials and some members of Congress from border states have expressed concern that the changes could interfere with travel and commerce.

Chertoff said his agency's data revealed that in September 2006, 90 percent of passengers leaving from Canadian airports had passports. The department estimated that 69 percent of U.S. travelers to Canada, 58 percent of U.S. travelers to Mexico, and 75 percent of U.S. travelers to the Caribbean hold passports.

"Could James Bond and Q come up with a fake passport" that could fool inspectors? Chertoff asked, referring to the fictional British spy and his espionage agency's technical genius. Of course, he replied, "Nothing is completely perfect."

Still, he said that with new technology, it is increasingly difficult to forge passports, and having just one document to scrutinize should make inspection easier for both inspectors and travelers."

So I guess the Southern border will be a Gateway for unwanted tourists, but I have to pay into the "Fund Raiser Program" of the federal Gov't.

I am so deeply opposed to this action. I ride my Bike a lot into and out of Canada. Perhaps that is over with for now. I might have to exile myself to my Homeland or start riding in and out of Mexico to get my trips in.

I am all for security, but how in the heck will this improve my security in the motherland?

Bulldog
 

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Bulldog said:
So I guess the Southern border will be a Gateway for unwanted tourists, but I have to pay into the "Fund Raiser Program" of the federal Gov't.

I am so deeply opposed to this action. I ride my Bike a lot into and out of Canada. Perhaps that is over with for now. I might have to exile myself to my Homeland or start riding in and out of Mexico to get my trips in.

I am all for security, but how in the heck will this improve my security in the motherland?

Bulldog
I think this is great, this is a big step into improving the security here in the U.S. Two things that was said I believe makes perfect sense and is exactly whey we should require the use of passports to enter this country.

"Right now, there are 8,000 different state and local entities in the U.S. issuing birth certificates and driver's licenses," Chertoff said. Having to distinguish phony from real in so many different documents "puts an enormous burden on our Customs and Border inspectors," he said.

Still, he said that with new technology, it is increasingly difficult to forge passports, and having just one document to scrutinize should make inspection easier for both inspectors and travelers."
 

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As if there was never a fake passport????

I have my application ready to go.

Would have been nice if they had made this mandatory BEFORE it got so expensive. If you need one in a hurry it is even more money.
 

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They may be twice as much to get now but they also last twice as long as before.

And yeah, there have been fake passports, but at least now the customs folks know what they are supposed to be looking for. Currently they have no clue what the birth certificate from Hillbillyville, USA looks like. So how are they to know if it is fake or not?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
To the best of my Knowledge, there is only one United States Passport and the issuing agency is the Federal Government of the United States.

There are many places that you can apply for one, but only one issuing authority.

Bulldog
 

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Did you see that some mexicans are exempt from having the passport and I don't mean the ones the walk accross the border! I think they got the exemption borders mix up.
 

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Bulldog if I read your article right and what was in the local paper; this only impacts air traveler at the present time. You should have no problem riding your bike into Canada. In 2008 that may be another story.
 

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Personally I don't understand the weeping and gnashing of the teeth for Americans to have to get a passport. My Canadian passport lasts only 5 years but it makes travel so much easier. If this law keeps one terrorist out of the country then it has done its job. We live in frightening times and measures must be taken to try and keep these cowards out. Your passport lasts for 10 years so just go get it and it will make things easier for everyone involved. Will it keep every terrorist out? Of course not but at least it’s an attempt. Is that so wrong?
 

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My passport if good until 2010, I'll renew then.
 

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The SO and I have a Caribbean cruise planned for January so we got our passports in September. It was a hassle but if this keeps one SOB out then it is worth it :!:
 

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Dawg,

You can come to Rockies-Gold without the use of a passport (unless of course you are talking radar detector for the ride out).

Just for air travelers now, but for driving across in a year also. I've had a passport for years, so I'd say go ahead and do the application now and you'll have it when needed. I use it for all my travels to Canada, even on the bike. I believe that they are good for ten years.
 

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The intent is to increase border security. We are useing the National Guard to secure borders with Mexico to avoid illegal imigration. Yet this law exempts Mexican Nationals from having a passport and only requires them to have a border permit or Drivers License which can be easily faked. What is wrong with this picture?
 

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FUSE said:
They may be twice as much to get now but they also last twice as long as before.
They are good for twenty years now? Mine is expiring this year and was good for ten years. Now they cost almost double but are still for ten years. I only used it once to go to Belize. I will renew and carry it with me for any trips near a border just in case the urge to run "over there" strikes me.
 

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if you don't have one, you are abl to walk across the border....
 

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Rinkopr said:
if you don't have one, you are abl to walk across the border....
For about another year...
As early as January 1, 2008, ALL persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda by land or sea (including ferries), may be required to present a valid passport or other documents as determined by the Department of Homeland Security. While recent legislative changes permit a later deadline, the Departments of State and Homeland Security are working to meet all requirements as soon as possible. Ample advance notice will be provided to enable the public to obtain passports or passport cards for land/sea entries.
There is also a passport card they are working on...
The Passport Card (also referred to as the PASS Card): This limited-use passport in card format is currently under development and will be available for use for travel only via land or sea (including ferries) between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. Similar in size to a credit card, it will fit easily into a wallet.
 

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When Luther & Michelle come to visit us........he just tells the Canadian Boarder guards he is going to visit us.......they let him pass straight through!!!! :)

That's because I know someone......who knows someone......who knows someone.....and they say let my friends in.

Now getting back across to the States......your on your own :)
 

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maybe a chip in our butts at birth, hard to fake that!!!!!!! :lol: :lol:
 

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I would think that along with a passport that your thumb print should be on your passport. Along with a number that can be traced to the owner of the passport. Border patrols should be able to pull up the number and thumb print from their computers to verify that the person holding the passport is the same person.

That would make more sense, since your thumb print can't be duplicated.

Credit card companies and cell phone companies are using a sim card for cell phones and that little 3d emblem on your credit card holds all of your personal information.

One day you will see a computer chip that will be used. To be used on that will be on your person for any and all transactions and border crossings. If you think not....you are only kidding yourself.

Passports are just the beginning. Wait and see....
 

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After working for INS for years, I approve of everyone having a passport. Can they be altered, yes, but if the CBP Inspector is checking, it's not too hard to spot. There are many, many security features built into a passport.

While photo subs and page changes are the most common alterations, they are never perfect. Passports photos are not easy to change. Birth certificates vary from hospital to hospital and easy to forge. Even if it had a photo. you'll never idenitfy anyone by that baby picture.

If I put 10 passports in front of you and one was altered, I'm sure you could find a fake with little or no training. But you'll never find the fake birth certificate. They just don't have the security features.

I hate to say it, but I'm almost to the point of supporting a National ID Card.
 
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