More On Passports

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Speaking of passport shenanigans, it looks like President Bush may be heading off that proposal to require passports for entry from Canada and Mexico.

"When I first read that in the newspaper about the need to have passports, particularly the day crossings that take place, about a million, for instance, in the state of Texas, I said, 'What's going on here?'" Bush said yesterday. Encouraging words.

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  1. Rare ones indeed coming by Dear Leader.

  2. coming *from*…

    Yes, English is my first language 🙂

  3. Now if the ever-narcissistic Dubya was made to put up with airport “security” once in a while, we could get some traction on that front as well.

  4. Paging Lonewacko! Paging Lonewacko! MEChA may be taking control of current occupant of White House! Please respond immediately!

  5. Wait, I thought Bush didn’t read newspapers….

  6. Not quite sure if Tim’s being sarcastic here, but I did not find encouraging the idea that the prez finds out about his administration’s activities by reading the papers.

    That said, “What’s going on here?” will hopefully one day take its place among the most boneheaded presidential quotes of all time, with “I have sinned in my heart,” and “That depends on what ‘is’ is.”

  7. Wait a minute last year the prez said he didn’t read the papers. Now we are hearing the he does what the heck is going on here…

  8. Technically, I don’t think reading the funnies counts as reading the papers. Perhaps Doonesbury mentioned the subject.

  9. Wait a minute last year the prez said he didn’t read the papers. Now we are hearing the he does what the heck is going on here…

    People grow.

  10. [i]Not quite sure if Tim’s being sarcastic here, but I did not find encouraging the idea that the prez finds out about his administration’s activities by reading the papers.[/i]

  11. dammit, I’m stupid.

    Anyway, the Prez doesn’t have to ok, let alone know about, every single regulation that the government passes. Yes, this was a big one, but still.

  12. Eric II
    You nailed it. Dubya may very well have a clue about how toxic this particular policy shat from his White House is. Unfortunately, his experience with the real world is so limited, there is little chance he will take note of the myriad of other ways he has fettered the nation. That which he understands least, he thinks he is best to take charge of.

  13. Tee hee…Tim, you said “moron”.

    That’s when I knew it was a GWB post, sight unseen.

  14. In my experience, policy with respect to identification at land border crossings between the U.S. and Canada is not enforced. I would not be surprised if a great many people could get through without passports after the requirement is in place. Theoretically, everyone crossing the border right now should have some form of photo ID and proof of citizenship, meaning passport, drivers license with a birth certificate or similar combination. My exerience at the Detroit-Windsor border crossing is that the driver simply shows his/her drivers license, states that everyone in the car is a U.S. citizen and is allowed to pass so long as there are no citrus fruits in the car. I have not, however, been to Canada since 9/11/2001. Are they still so lax?

  15. Warren, you ignorant slut.

  16. What’s it like for Mexicans who want to cross the border for a ball game or whatever? Can they just cross the same way Canadians do? If not, why not?

    Going to a Padres game two years ago I was surprised at how many Mexican license plates I saw in the parking lot. If border crossing in a car at a major checkpoint is easy enough to justify crossing to attend a baseball game, I’d expect it to be the major route for illegal immigrants. Screw that desert shit.

  17. DB,

    My guess is that most of the guys driving those cars w/ Mexican license plates are here legally, using un pasaporte. Maybe I’m wrong, but, I just don’t see something this obvious going unnoticed; if one can get across the border unmolested by simply claiming they’re going to a baseball game, then, well, I doubt anyone would risk their lives sneaking across desert wasteland with a coyote.

  18. I recently crossed into Canada from MI (without a passport) and was a little suprised to find that getting out of the US was easy. It was the Canadians that gave me hell about getting back in.

    On the subject of Dubya, I suggest someone start a political comic strip fast. Governmental policy coup d’etat via comic strip. There’s an American concept.

  19. Umm – correction – that would be Canadians giving me hell about getting out of the US. Heh – it’s early. My point was, I was suprised to find that the US agents didn’t seem to have any problems with me not having my passport.

  20. my experience has been that, like Mephistophocles, it’s far easier to get into Canada than it is to get back in to the US. The American border patrol seem to have some deity complex. Of course, what do you expect when you give a bunch of sadists unfettered power and authori-tah?

  21. Mephistophocles, the Canadian authorities do not care about you getting “out of” the US, they care about you getting into Canada.

    Likewise, the US authorities do not care about you getting “out of” the Canada, they care about you getting into the US.

    Besides Cuba and North Korea, what countries still prevent citizens from leaving?

    andy, your experience is actually the opposite of what Mephistophocles observed. His experience is rare, yours, in my experience, is the common one.

    Canadian customs/immigration are pretty easy-going. But in any case a lot depends on the individual and the location.

  22. “the Canada” should be just “Canada”

    Yes, English is my first language 🙂

  23. I live 45 minutes south of Canadian border. I’ve spent the last 2 Saturdays in Montreal. I will have absolutely no problem presenting a passport when it become required. Currently, both the Canadian and US borders photograph my car – with the US two cameras flash. I assume that when they key in my license plate – all sorts of information appears on the border agent’s computer screen – perhaps including photographs of my previous reentries into the US. (I would also hope the Canadian and US share information – ie when I crossed into Canada.) I always breeze through although I’ve seen them tear apart cars – typically young Asians in very fast expensive cars. And, I know of a middle-aged well-to-do Cuban-American gay couple who refuse to cross over due to the hassle coming home.

    FYI: I was in Montreal on Saturday 9/15/01, sat in a bar on St. Denis street and watched the television air images of WTC paired with REM’s Everybody Hurts. The Canadians are the best of neighbors.

  24. To my knowledge, passports are still not required to pass between Canada/US/Mexico. But that doesn’t mean they have to let you in. I’ve crossed between Canada and the US about a billion times, and haven’t noticed any difference between the two directions. It seems to depend more on the mood of the official, what kind of day they are having, etc… although the worst official I’ve encountered was American – some retard (seriously, I think he had mental problems) who was trying to act like a Real Federal Agent.

    I very much doubt that licence plate #’s are entered anywhere – I’ve often bought cigarettes and alcohol at the duty-free, gone into the US, done a U-turn, and driven back into Canada.

    My favourite border-crossing is from SD to Tijuana. The only customs agent there is a guy at the side of the road waving four lanes of traffic through the gates.

  25. I’ve observed the same thing as Mephistophocles. Tougher to get into Canada than into the US, in general. In my experience, they ask a lot more questions and just seem a lot more distrusting of US documentation. Been back a forth a lot of times since 9/11.

  26. “the Canada” should be just “Canada”

    I like it the first way; it’s kinda like The Gambia.

  27. Besides Cuba and North Korea, what countries still prevent citizens from leaving?

    Good question. I would be surprised to learn that China doesn’t have emigration controls, being Communist and all.

    I bet there are all kinds of little craphole dictatorships where it is illegal to leave without paying a bribe, but some facts on this one would be nice.

  28. There is an anecdote about Carter visiting Castro. At some point Carter brings up immigration restrictions and asks Castro about letting more Cubans move to the US.

    Castro’s reply was “How many would you like?”

    The point is that the US does not want a flood of Cuban refugees. China and South Korea are doing everything they can to avoid a flood of NKorean refugees.

  29. The point is that the US does not want a flood of Cuban refugees. China and South Korea are doing everything they can to avoid a flood of NKorean refugees

    While it is true that the United States, China, and South Korea don’t want a flood of refugees, that doesn’t change the fact that North Korea and Cuba do, in fact, prevent their citizens from leaving.

  30. Ummm, I wonder how many people would want to leave Cuba if it was not the kind of dictatorship which has as one of its major (though by no means its worst) restrictions severe limitations on the ability to travel.

  31. I seem to recall reading several years ago that China was going to try to stop the “brain drain” by making college graduates pay back the cost of their education if they wanted to leave the country.

    I don’t know what came of it, but given that the supply of Chinese graduate students has not significantly diminished I have to conclude that the fees were either minimal or never implemented.

  32. “the Canada” should be just “Canada”

    I like it the first way; it’s kinda like The Gambia.

    Or “the Ukraine,” which I’ve always preferred to just “Ukraine.”

    “Welcome to the Canada — the Ukraine of North America!”

  33. From what I remember the number of countries that prevent citizens from leaving is minimal. However, the number of countries that keep their citizens from taking assets with them is significantly larger.

  34. Don’t say that around any Ukrainians, Steveo.

    “Ukraine” is the name of a country, like “France.”

    “The Ukraine” is the name of a region, like “the Great Plains.”

    One is an independent political entity, the other is a geographic section of a political entity.

    Given the “entity” in question, you can understand why tensions run high.

    Oh, and, “Ukraine is joke to you? Ukraine not weak! Ukraine strong!”

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