Time to Invest in San Diego Passport Shops

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Yet more evidence that we'll look at the 1990s as a high-water mark for free & relatively anonymous global travel:

Americans will need passports to re-enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, Panama and Bermuda by 2008, part of a tightening of U.S. border controls in an era of terrorist threat, three administration officials said Tuesday.

Similarly, Canadians will also have to present a passport to enter the United States, the officials said.

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  1. This is insane. You can cross into France
    from Germany without even noticing the border
    and they still hate each other. If the
    leaders of the US and Canada for the last
    few decades were not utterly incompetent
    we could do the same, and save not only the
    huge direct costs of the border apparatus,
    but tens of billions of dollars worth of
    citizen time spent sitting in lines at the
    border.

    Jeff

  2. Everything has changed since 9-11. The prior blissful naiivete/innocence is gone and the world has changed. Its unfortunate.
    It was nice while it lasted.

  3. Meanwhile, those who want to simply slip over the long, unguarded borders to the north and south can will continue to do so with relative ease and unaccosted by the government as long as they want to do the work no one else does.

  4. Fantastic! We head up from Seattle to the San Juan islands (fine little archipelago – US territory) frequently. The ferry back happens to originate in Canada, so when we get back the local mounties like to be on the safe side and just assume we’re sneaking in over the border, so full documentation check for everyone. So starting in 2008, I’ll need to carry my passport while traveling from one section of Washington State to another.

    I wonder if I have grounds to file an injunction. Time for more activist judges.

  5. Overreaching–a game the whole Party can play.

  6. I heard this on the news this afternoon. Just shook my head in disgust.

    Has it really only been 50 years since my friend Willie legally walked across the border from Mexico and never looked back?

  7. Seriously, the back-up at the border is already, like, hours on a regular day, isn’t it?

  8. Not good. I grew up in a border city (Buffalo, NY). The last time I crossed into Canada on a visit home (a year or two ago) they did not even ask for the driver’s license. I cannot imagine them having to check a passport for all the day-trippers going to the Canadian side of the Falls, or the Canuck hockey coming in for a Sabres-Leafs game (if there ever are NHL games again, that is).

  9. I was extremely surprised to read about this, as I always thought the passport-free status of US/Canadian travel was established by treaty. But I was apparently wrong.

  10. I’m trying to decide between “But Kerry would have been worse!” and “I, for one, welcome our new document-requiring overlords!”

    I think I’ll just weep, instead.

    Mike: I disagree with your assumption that September 11th makes these changes necessary. There are countless policy proposals that could be adopted in response to September 11th, including some that would be much worse. But there are others that would be much less intrusive. This passport requirement was selected because the government thinks it will be relatively easy, and that it’s a highly visible effort so as to appear to be doing something. I’ll just remind everyone that the September 11th hijackers came in legally, using passports and visas. Also, the so-called Millennium Bomber was captured under the old system. Paperwork is no guarantee of anything. Well, except delays, more bureaucracy, innocents getting fucked over, increased costs, and countless other negative effects. The positives are a lot harder to quantify.

    Sidereal: Try getting to Point Roberts!

  11. The big winners here are the Canadian government. About 15 million Canadians who haven’t bothered to get a passport will now have to – at something like $100 a clip.

    Of course, the lineups at the passport office in Vancouver used to be long before this requirement. I can’t imagine what they’ll be like in 2007.

    To “May I see…”: I never found entereing Point Roberts to be a problem. However, re-entering Canada required getting the third degree from the Canada customs and immigratrion people. One time I went down there for the afternoon, and I forgot that I had an (old, decrepit 12″) computer monitor in my trunk. When coming back, the agent demanded to see my receipt to prove that I hadn’t just purchased it in the US. I should have just surrended it. (It was in my trunk because I was taking it to a friend to give away.)

  12. The real question is if (as I strongly suspect) this is a precursor to a out and out repeal of the various “visa waiver” agreements the US has with other countries.

    In other words, everyone will be required to apply (and be subject to a subsequent background check) for a visa in order to enter the US.

  13. Also the u.s. is now requiring that a certain percentage of u.s. passports contain biometric identification. Eventually it seems, everyone will have to carry biometric id cards to cross from the u.s. to canada.

    But then of course if drivers liscenses every become a true national id card it will make it all unnecessary …. right?

  14. shit shit shit shit fuck shit

  15. Don’t worry. The government will soon be able to implant an RFID chip in your head in lieu of any passports.

  16. The prior blissful naiivete/innocence is gone

    I’m too close for comfort to being 50 & I really can’t recall this age of innocence you’re talking about, considering that JFK was assassinated when I was in 2nd grade. Exactly when did it end, now?

  17. Meanwhile, those who want to simply slip over the long, unguarded borders to the north and south can will continue to do so with relative ease and unaccosted by the government as long as they want to do the work no one else does.

    Bingo. Just like locks on doors and gun control, this will only work on those who voluntarily follow the rules. Those who really want to get across the border will find easy ways to do so. Some stupid ones will get caught, and trumpeted as security successes.

  18. This is a slight shift in topic, but along the same vein: I heard that crook Alberto Gonzales on the radio this morning talking about how the PATRIOT Act is so fantastic, and how Congress should renew all of its sunsetting clauses. He brought up the much-maligned clause which allows the gubmint to search library records anonymously, and noted that it has never been used (so we shouldn’t worry about it?). Without a hint of irony, he ignores the obvious unspoken question: if it’s never been used, then why do we need it? Oh, well, he says that there is evidence of trrrrrsts using library computers to communicate, so, libraries can’t be “safe havens” for terrorists.

    Y’see, as long as the government surveils every square inch of the country, then the trrrrrsts will have no safe havens. Perfect. I can’t wait for the hidden CIA video surveillence in my back yard.

  19. I wonder how this will effect the local border economies? I mean, obviously less people will be traveling back and forth due to the new requirements.

    Sucks.

  20. KERRY^H^H^H^H^HGORE WOULD HAVE BEEN WORSE!!!!!!!!!!!1


  21. KERRY^H^H^H^H^HGORE WOULD HAVE BEEN WORSE!

    At this point, I doubt it.

    Where’s divided gubmint when you need it?

  22. Don’t worry about long lines at the border.Your govt has thoughtfully installed an RFID chip in all the new passports issued. It will have all the critical info they need and maybe some other info. Like your personal desciptive info,
    medical, criminal and who knows what else (travel and purchase info). So this will make your border travel non intrusive and efficient.
    Also, in Texas as of Jan.1, 2006 all vehicle registration stickers will contain a RFID chip
    for a dual use. One being for tolls(ez pass) and the other for maintaining proper registration and insurance. If your flagged for no ins. then you receive a 250.00 fine and license suspension via mail. This is a Texas house bill as I write this.
    I’m sure this would never be used to abridge const. rights.
    Rest easy your govt. is here to help you.

  23. Given the fact that passports can be easily forged – just do a google search on U.S. passport and you’ll find people who are stupid enough to have posted scanned images of theirs online – I don’t see how this can do anything but severely harm the economies of border cities. In places like El Paso, Mexican citizens used to routinely cross to do their shopping downtown, then return at night, and vice-versa for Americans. Haven’t been down there since 9/11 – this may have changed but I can’t see how any of this accomplishes anything.

  24. Divided government in the context of protecting us is a myth. The only difference is how much we are screwed and what part of the anatomy gets it, good and hard.

    EVERY congress, every administration, every year increases spending, increases taxes, increases regulation, and decreases freedom.

    So what if it was only a BIG FIVE INCH with the divided congress of the Clinton era and now its a 7″ inch boner under GWB.

    You were raped then and are still being raped today.

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