Canadian border and 9-11

I plan on going to Frostpocket and Toronto this summer, FSM-willing, and I don't have a non-expired passport.

Canadians also paying price of 9/11 security | Chicago Tribune Canadians also paying price of 9/11 security ...neighbors separated by an international border and connected by a bridge and a tunnel are fighting identification mandates in an anti-terrorism law that they fear will deliver a crippling if not fatal blow to their long, friendly and enormously profitable relationship.

Often overlooked in the white-hot debate over protecting the border with Mexico is language requiring people traveling between the United States and Canada to have passports or similar identification before they can cross the border.

That requirement, part of a law approved by Congress in 2004, does not take effect until January 2008, but the approach of the law already has dampened tourism and injected uncertainty over future conventions and events that have historically lured large numbers of Americans into Canada.

Although serious border issues with Canada are rare, the porous nature of the 3,145-mile border along the lower 48 states is such that unusual events carry outsized impact.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, the number of U.S. border guards at the Canadian border has tripled, to about 1,000, according to Jarrod Agen, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security. That compares with about 9,500 agents from the U.S. Border Patrol stationed along the 1,989-mile border with Mexico. President Bush announced plans this month to bolster the force on the Mexican border with 6,000 National Guard troops.

Even with the stiffened security on the northern border, the number of arrests from Canada are, at best, a smidgen compared with apprehensions of Mexicans. The Border Patrol reported 7,345 arrests on the Canadian border in fiscal year 2005, with fewer than 1,800 in the Detroit region. Just under 1.2 million people were apprehended at the Mexican border in 2005.
But worry they do. Mayor Francis and others complain that the perception of trouble at the border--long lines, a passport requirement that is not yet in effect, hassles from border guards--is scaring people away. A passport requirement is overkill, they say. A better and cheaper alternative would be an enhanced driver's license that could be quickly checked at the border.

Opponents of the passport requirement won a victory last week in the U.S. Senate with the approval of an amendment that would delay implementation of the security procedure by 18 months, to the summer of 2009, allowing more time to develop a less-expensive alternative.

“We're friends,” said Ambrosio, the restaurant operator who wonders if he'll ever see his longtime patrons again. “You don't check friends who have been going back across the border for 50 years. There's got to be another way


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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on May 24, 2006 7:58 AM.

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