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U.S. to Require Passport To Re-Enter Country 1223

Posted by Zonk
from the friendly-greeting dept.
The Hobo writes "The CBC is reporting that starting in 2007, most Canadians will require a passport to cross into the United States and by 2008 Americans who crossed freely into Canada will be unable to return to the United States without a passport. The tougher new rules still allow Canadians to cross without being fingerprinted, but every person from any other country will be required to submit to fingerprinting." From the article: "Currently, Canadians and Americans are able to enter the United States with little more identification than a driver's licence or a birth certificate, though a passport has sometimes made it simpler to satisfy immigration officers at the border."
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U.S. to Require Passport To Re-Enter Country

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  • Mexico, Eh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tackhead (54550) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:28PM (#12147204)
    > Currently, Canadians and Americans are able to enter the United States with little more identification than a driver's licence or a birth certificate, though a passport has sometimes made it simpler to satisfy immigration officers at the border.

    What's the big deal? Canadians and Americans still don't need passports to get home, nor do they need to worry about fingerprinting.

    If you're an American without a passport, just come back through California, Mexico, and Arizona. The desert's hot, you'll pick up lots of dust, and after a few days' hiking, you'll have picked up a nice Mexican tan. Se Habla Espanol! You're in!

    If you're a Canadian without a passport, remember that you're indistinguishable from the American as long as you remember to pronounce it "owwwwt" (like you stubbed your toe), instead of "oot" (like if you're going oot and aboot), and if you can pretend that Budweiser is beer for a few days. Grab a six-pack of Bud for your American friend and follow him across the desert. Then take a US domestic flight (for which no passport is required) to New York State. Go to the Six Nations Reserve and offer to haul some smokes 'n' booze in across the St. Lawrence. If it's winter, you can even walk home, eh?

    Or remotely sniff the RFID off some other poor schlub and just use his passport.

    Seriously, what's the big deal? Don't have a passport, go to Mexico, eh? :)

    • Re:Mexico, Eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sachmet (10423) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:31PM (#12147241)
      You didn't read the article, did you? "And by 2008, most Americans who visit Canada won't be able to re-enter their country without a passport." You sure *will* need a passport to come home. I don't know what will happen if you don't have it, but you can bet it won't be pleasant or speedy.
      • Re:Mexico, Eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by camkind (742277) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:48PM (#12147479) Homepage
        But can a country deny entry to one of its own citizens? I can see US customs detaining US citizens for drug/weapon/not declaring duty offences, but actually denying an American citizen the right to enter their own country?
        • Re:Mexico, Eh? (Score:5, Informative)

          by WaterBreath (812358) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:54PM (#12147561)
          Well, if you haven't got an American passport, who's to say you're an American citizen?

          The idea is that they will no longer accept your claim to be an American citizen unless you have a passport. If you can produce such, you've satsified the requirement, and they've got no reason to prevent your entry.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:49PM (#12147490)
    • I bet they will still let people in without a passport. Only Americans would be naive enough to leave their country without one. Thus proof of citizenship!
    • by schon (31600) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:34PM (#12147289)
      If you're an American without a passport, just come back through California, Mexico, and Arizona.

      Yes, because these states all share a border with Canada, right?

      I think you might wanna brush up on your geography a little.
      • by rishistar (662278) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @05:13PM (#12147832) Homepage
        Shopping differences in culture....

        Brits: Shop at home and have goods imported because they live on an island.

        Aussies: Shop at home and have goods imported because they live on an island.

        Americans: Cross the southern border for cheap shopping, gas, & liquor in a backwards country.

        Canadians: Cross the southern border for cheap shopping, gas, & liquor in a backwards country.
  • by sachmet (10423) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:28PM (#12147206)
    Because, as we all know, passports are never forged [washingtontimes.com]. Ever. [freerepublic.com]

    I don't see how we are more "protected" than the current system [house.gov].
    • by garcia (6573) * on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:32PM (#12147273) Homepage
      I see it has being used when Passports are mandated to include RFID tags. By then, if the lawmakers get their way, cars will have them imbedded in tires to track their movements (of course it's all for the best interests of the USA's citizens and not to fill the coffers of local governments).

      The US will then be able to track the movements of its citizens around the Interstates and across the border. It will then know when you left, when you came back, and where you went after.

      It will all be a part of your little running history.

      Keep RFID tags out of cars, passports, items in stores, etc.
    • I never thought I'd see Free Republic cited on Slashdot. All I can say is... ping!
  • by Ydna (32354) * <andrew.sweger@net> on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:29PM (#12147221) Homepage
    Shouldn't be too long before interstate travel in the US requires a passport. That'll finally put an end to criminals moving to another state to hide from the law.
    • Shouldn't be too long before interstate travel in the US requires a passport.

      Sometimes I think that this might actually happen.

      Consider this: on one of my regular drives, it's not unusual for me to be pulled over, asked for identification, where I was coming from, and where I'm headed to, and if the officer doesn't like my answers (or I decline to answer), I get to wait until they've checked my ID and vehicle information over.

      Seriously, having my US Passport is handy (and I'm about as honky-appearing

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:40PM (#12147368)
      It's modded funny, but it's not really far from the truth.

      Interstate travel in the US already requires full identification, logged permanently by the government -- that is, if you want to travel at a tolerable speed. Unless you're wealthy enough to afford a personal jet, you can't fly without the equivalent of showing a passport. (see freetotravel.org [freetotravel.org])

      This situation is only getting worse. Even interstate buses and trains now usually require ID for ticket purchases.
    • Please! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fm6 (162816) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:50PM (#12147502) Homepage Journal
      Don't give the Patriot Actors any ideas!

      Seriously. They've already shown they'll use whatever loopholes they can find in the Bill of Rights. Like right now, we've got several thousand people incarcerated on the territory of an unfriendly power [cubagov.cu], because it'd be illegal to incarcerate them anywhere else!

    • Huh? This is an example of interstate travel passport requirement!
  • I remember when.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:29PM (#12147226) Homepage
    i was able to cross the border just by telling the customs agent where i was going and for how long..
    • Re:I remember when.. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by panda (10044) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:36PM (#12147315) Homepage Journal
      Yes, and so do I.

      I once went to Canada with three Japanese students who were studying in America. When we got to the Canadian border control, I went inside the office with them in case they had linguistic problems. The official there looked at each of their passports, looked at their visas for the U.S., then stamped that they'd entered Canada.

      He looked to me with his hand out as if expecting another passport. I simply answered, "I'm a citizen." He smiled and let us through.

      The Americans did check my driver's license on the way back, though.

      'Course, this was 15 years ago.....
      • Re:I remember when.. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Fizzog (600837) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @05:02PM (#12147680)
        15 years ago I was travelling around the US, having entered on a Visa Waiver with my British Passport.

        I was up near Canada and decided to go and visit Toronto. So I drove across some bridge (with US Immigration at one end and Canadian Immigration at the other) and rocked up to the office.

        I gave the guy my Passport which he checked over and duly stamped. He then tells me: 'You know you can't get back into the USA now, right?'

        Apparently there is/was some very peculiar rule whereby if you leave the USA via a different means than you entered (eg. I flew into the USA but exited by car) then your Visa was no longer valid for USA entry.

        After a brief panic attack on my part the Canadian Immigration guy called up the Yanks at the other end of the bridge and they discussed it for a few minutes. The Yanks said it should be okay to get back in, which I eventually did at Niagra Falls. The Yank there looked at the Passport and Visa and just waved me through.

        I just can't believe the Canadian Immigration guy stamped my Passport and *then* told me the consequences of him doing that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:30PM (#12147234)
    Americans who crossed freely into Canada will be unable to return to the United States without a passport Damn, does that mean we're stuck with them then?
  • Say goodbye (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dark Coder (66759) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:30PM (#12147237)
    "Goodbye, my Canadian friends."

    "Goodbye, those funky round flat bacon, hockey teams.."

    "Goodbye, to those maple leaf brothers."

    The door will go from wide-open to slightly ajar....

    (sigh)
    • Re:Say goodbye (Score:5, Insightful)

      by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:34PM (#12147298) Homepage
      it's sad but true, the Bush administration is alienating canada like no other administration in US history..

      from the beef ban to the tarifs on soft wood, now tightening the border only makes canadians not want to vacation in the US.. or for that matter have anything to do with americans.. which is a shame really.
      • Re:Say goodbye (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:47PM (#12147455)
        Canadians aren't the only ones they're alienating. I flew over to the US from an EU state on Sunday for a 2 week business trip and had to get my fingers scanned and a photo taken on entry into the country. I'm really very unhappy about being treated this way, and I'm sure everyone I was queueing with felt the same.

        America has ceased to be a country that others might aspire to. Other countries have experienced terrorism for many decades without becoming so draconian, so it's funny that the US, the supposed land of the free, overreacted so dramatically.

        It's a crying shame really...
      • by HangingChad (677530) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @07:07PM (#12148975) Homepage
        .. or for that matter have anything to do with americans.. which is a shame really.

        Excuse me, but how do you think we feel about it? Any Americans with two neurons left to rub together to make a spark is saddened by the souring of our relationship with you. And not just you but just about every other country on the planet.

        How would you like to be saddled with George Bush and have 52% of your fellows think he's just a great guy? And then try to blame you for their vote because you didn't come up with a better candidate. Try it for a while and see how it feels.

        We're watching a country we love descend into ignorance, intolerance and fear.

  • by b17bmbr (608864) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:31PM (#12147242)
    to figure out eh who is a canadian eh? im mean eh, it's aboot national secoority eh. so, if it makes the US safer, eh, then it should be okay eh.
  • by CrazyTalk (662055) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:31PM (#12147244)
    I grew up in Buffalo, NY so going back and forth to Canada was as regular an occurence as going to the mall. Only once was I asked for any kind of ID whatsoever, and that was because I was with a British citizen. Usually they would just ask you "Citizen of what country" and if you said "USA" they would wave you in.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Used to be freer than that

      Man, I've been hearing that my whole life (sigh).
  • yet another reason (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crabpeople (720852) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:31PM (#12147247) Journal
    to NOT travel to the USA

    come to canada instead [travelcanada.ca] - all of the beauty - none of the ph34r

  • by Staplerh (806722) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:31PM (#12147254) Homepage
    The CBC is reporting that starting in 2007, most Canadians will require a passport to cross into the United States and by 2008 Americans who crossed freely into Canada will be unable to return to the United States without a passport. The tougher new rules still allow Canadians to cross without being fingerprinted, but every person from any other country will be required to submit to fingerprinting.

    Now, it's my understanding that a sovereign country can control their borders in any way they see fit. Perhaps there's some sort of rights argument to be made about the americans who need a passport to re-enter their country, although it doesn't seem like a major issue, but Canadians.. heck, I'm a Canadian, and it doesn't really effect our rights. America can do whatever they want with their borders to non-citizens. If they don't want to let us come in, heck, that really is their perogative.
    • by ergo98 (9391) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:37PM (#12147325) Homepage Journal
      Well if you see yourself as a part of a larger community, it can be construed as a rights issue. Really though it's no big deal - get a passport. The only people who will be hurt are the idiots that don't plan ahead, and then boohoo to the media about how unfair the system is.

      It is telling, however, that Canada and the US, two of the most alike and intertwined countries on the planet, are moving apart, while at the same time the enormously diverse European Union acts in many ways like a single country.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @05:04PM (#12147708)
      The thing that really fucking pisses me off is the fingerprinting of TRANSIT PASSENGERS PASSING THROUGH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS.

      Really folks, get a grip. You're just an anonymous airport with a transit lounge we sit in for an hour. The only difference between transit in Hong Kong or Singapore and LAX is that LAX is full of cunts who want to fingerprint you for no good reason.
  • Whew! (Score:3, Funny)

    by SoupGuru (723634) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:33PM (#12147281)
    With that gaping security hole closed up I can finally sleep at night knowing I'm safe from all the bad people in the world.
  • by The Hobo (783784) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:36PM (#12147320)
    I submitted the story, and forgot to include this as food for thought:

    Think of a typical family of four. My own just did this. Say this family wants to go to Disneyland from Canada. As it stands, my parents were able to go with the young'ns without a problem, and none of them have passports. Tourists from Canada are a part of the US economy. Had the passports been required, it would have cost [pptc.gc.ca]: 87 + 87 + 37 + 37, plust GST, which is a total of 265.36$, and that doesn't even include the trouble of finding a guarantor and taking passport photos which cost more than normal photos. This is on top of any other travel costs, likely for a single trip. This will most definitely deter Canadians from visiting and spending money in the US. Not to mention that passports take at least 3 weeks to get, ruling out any sudden decisions to say pick a US ski package to a Canadian one. I personally enjoy taking trips to the US, but this makes it much harder, and I'm certain this scenario will be repeated.
    • by kebes (861706) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:45PM (#12147433) Journal
      You are correct, but your figures were assuming that the family only takes one out-of-country trip every 5 years. The real tourist money probably comes from people that travel more often. Those people (families) will have up-to-date passports anyway (even for the kids), and it won't be a matter of getting a new passport, but just bringing your current passport. Most people I know have a valid passport at all times anyway, for one reason or another.

      As you say, this will decrease the number of "impulse tourists" who don't otherwise travel abroad, but I doubt this will put a serious dent in the US tourism budget. Those people will probably just deal with the longer line at the border to get the proper tourist card or whatever.
  • by Wubby (56755) <tduvally@@@duvally...com> on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:38PM (#12147339) Homepage Journal
    Don't mean to be picky (ok, maybe I do), but how is this story about "Rights Online"? Politics maybe. I agree there may be a rights issue. Big Brother Bush wanting to ensure that we all stay adequatly Nationalist and all, but I troll...

    YRO, IIRC, is "Your Rights Online". And don't say, "Your reading it online, right?" 'Cause that would be "Your Rights, Online".
  • by herbicidal maniac (861052) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:38PM (#12147344)
    Be very very wary.... the War on Tourism will be a long hard road.... there may even be tourists living on your street. Your next door neighbor may be a tourist, report any suspicious activities. We will not stop until we have eliminated the scourge of touism from our land. They are all around you, checking out our national treasures.
  • The EU (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mindstrm (20013) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:39PM (#12147352)
    The EU, and the rest of the world, should call the American's bluff on this one.. just not produce the new funky passports to appease the US.

    Further, I hope Canada reciprocates and requires americans to have valid passports.

  • by aapold (753705) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:39PM (#12147354) Homepage Journal
    Sounds like a plan for a series of protests against this policy, if people feel strongly enough about it. Pick a day, and a time, and forget your passport. Have literature on each of your cars... (I think it would work better at land crossings where you can tie up more people)...
  • Deportation (Score:4, Funny)

    by The One and Only (691315) <[ten.hclewlihp] [ta] [lihp]> on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:40PM (#12147366) Homepage
    What if Canada deports me? I'm screwed!
  • by fastpage (125435) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:41PM (#12147371)
    As long as they have proper documentation and identification. Otherwise its...

    "I'm sorry sir, but your papers are not in order.."
  • by DroopyStonx (683090) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:43PM (#12147407)
    I'm SO sure that people living in Detroit who go over to Casino Windsor.. then to return will find themselves barred from the country without a passport.

    Not gonna happen.
  • by the-build-chicken (644253) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:43PM (#12147411)
    U.S. citizens get pretty pissed off [cnn.com] when you try and fingerprint them as they enter another country. And more countries will follow suit with this. The principle of reciprocality is enforced by most nations on this planet....so get ready to be fingerprinted U.S. citizens...you treat guests in your country like criminals, and we'll treat you the same way if you ever come to ours...only we'll probably dick you around for 9 hours in the airport as a bit of payback.
    • by will_die (586523) on Wednesday April 06, 2005 @04:15AM (#12151919) Homepage
      The funny thing about your statement is most other countries are far worse then the US, and the US is just protecting its borders.
      Goto places in Europe and alot of asian countries and you find things like the requirement to carry your passport with you all the time, or the hotels take and sometimes keep your passport the entire time you are staying with them. The hotels photo copy the passport and it is sent to the police.
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:46PM (#12147451) Homepage Journal
    Because the assholes who planebombed NYC and DC all had passports, were known terrorists, and were connected on the record with the assholes who bombed the WTC in 1993. Mohammed Atta's passport was somehow found fluttering atop the burning steel slag of the WTC - even tougher than the 2 planes' 4 blackbox recorders, which have never been reported found. I feel safer already.
    • by John Seminal (698722) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @06:33PM (#12148680) Journal
      Because the assholes who planebombed NYC and DC all had passports, were known terrorists, and were connected on the record with the assholes who bombed the WTC in 1993. Mohammed Atta's passport was somehow found fluttering atop the burning steel slag of the WTC - even tougher than the 2 planes' 4 blackbox recorders, which have never been reported found. I feel safer already.

      And it all could have been prevented by steel cockpit doors. Something so simple, that any retard airline should have fixed right away. Instead they come out will all sorts of scare tactics. I can honestly say I am not scared of terrorists. If they come on an airplane, I am tearing the motherfucker a new asshole. No boxcutter is going to scare me. I am more worried about pilots who fly 12 hours in a row, with no sleep. I hate to say it, but maybe if those flights had a couple of people with balls, none of 9/11 would have happened. But Osama was right, he hit us where we are soft, in our decadent self-absorbed, gluttonous, sit_on_our_ass selves. The avarage American knows nothing about our foriegn policy, who we are helping, who we are bombing and killing, who we are supplying guns to. And the avarage American does not give a fuck. So fuck us for being so dumb and self absorbed. At least we have the red necks, whom government can call on in the thousands to go fight.

      I think it should be very easy to travel, to have a good time. I would like to see passports done away with, people free to go anywhere they want. If we did not have a fucked up foriegn policy, the Arabs in the middle east would be loving us and wanting to be more like us. But it is hard to admire a wealthy country when they bomb your homeland. We never should have gotten involved in the middle east. The first universities in the world were all in the Middle East. The people who lived in that area welcomed Americans with open arms, wanting nothing but to enjoy our company and share a cup of tea. They did not want to change our culture, or for us to change theirs, but to enjoy our differences.

      Before the first war, gas was $0.95 a gallon. Today, gas is over $2.30 a gallon. Tell me again why we are over there, because it ain't security! We need to get rid of the Isrealie lobbyists from our country, they are more of a problem than Mexicans who come here to work 6 or 7 months and go home. But once again, we got them rednecks patroling the boarder keeping us safe. And at the same time making another group of people hate us.

  • by nysus (162232) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:47PM (#12147462)
    I have to wonder if one motivation for this change is that it might make it tougher for Americans to dodge future drafts.
  • by the-build-chicken (644253) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @04:50PM (#12147500)
    by 2008 Americans who crossed freely into Canada will be unable to return to the United States without a passport

    Has anyone asked Canada what they think about all the dickhead americans that didn't bring their passport with them being left in their country...american arrogance at it's best:

    America: And if you don't bring your passport we won't let you back.

    Canada: Hang aboot...don't we get a say in who get's to stay in our country and for how long?

    America: Is that oil?

    Canada: Oh shit
  • by SoupIsGood Food (1179) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @05:06PM (#12147737)
    This is reflecting the new political reality that the current Administration and the ruling party in congress considers left-leaning first world nations as ideological enemies to be isolated and opposed on the global stage. It's a clear sign that the US considers open access to Canada and Canadian culture as being counterproductive to their ideals in reshaping America to the Dickensian nightmare of theocracy and plutocracy.

    This isn't a security issue. This is an issue of punishing America's closest allies for following a different political destiny. It's to protect Michiganders and New Hampshirites from being exposed to affordable healthcare, gay rights and decrinminalized marijuana.

    Don't think it's true? Look at the ruthless, relentless and sometimes threatening and bellicose criticism of Europe by the right-wing blogosphere, professional pundits, and administration officials like Rumsfeldt. Canada is culturally closer to Europe at this point than the US... and the US will be punishing them for that at every opportunity.

    It's a new Berlin wall, to discourage cultural contamination. I can think of nothing more heartbreaking.

    SoupIsGood Food
  • by gone.fishing (213219) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @05:11PM (#12147802) Journal
    Last summer we crossed in to Canada from the U.S. and back again at the Grand Portage MN crossing. Getting into Canada and back into the U.S. was a "piece of cake." The Canadian authority was a young man - maybe 21 or 22 if he was looking young for his age. He simply asked a series of questions (a couple of which were unexpected and I assume were part of the security screening process) and welcomed us to Canada and let us go.

    What was interesting about that crossing was what any geek is likely to notice. As you approach the station there are cameras and lights - I'm sure that they use some recognition software and run you license plate before you ever even get close to the guard shack. Then as you pick your lane there are these posts that have a couple of convenient slots that I'm sure are also hiding cameras. The driver and the undersides of the vehicle are photographed as you slowly approach the shack.

    On the return trip, the US Customs agent steps out of the shack, writes down your license plate and requests ID from you. He talks to you briefly asking a few simple questions. Didn't take more than a few seconds. But it was all manual! Clearly, at this crossing at least, the Canadians have out-spent us and out-classed us security-wise.
  • Tinfoil Hat Time (Score:3, Insightful)

    by OS24Ever (245667) * <trekkie@nomorestars.com> on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @05:22PM (#12147950) Homepage Journal
    It's still the longest undefended border in the world last I checked, and it's not like we put a big ol' fence up [foxnews.com] to keep them out or something.

    I guess for me I'm thinking 'about time' vs. 'oh my god I'm violated'. I've had the honor of going to Canada twice now and I took my passport with me both times. I would take my passport anytime I leave the country, and Canada is one of those times.

    I think of it being the opposite? Not that Canada is any harder/easier to forge papers in but what if Ahab the Arab is in Canada and actually goes through a border checkpoint instead of walking across a frozen river in the winter. Making them have to forge a few more papers shouldn't be that hard.

    They've lost some 'favored nation' type status because of our history together, big deal. We make every other country use a passport to get in and that's not stopped the tourists, hell even getting them killed in florida [fumento.com] doesn't stop em.
  • by DunbarTheInept (764) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @05:35PM (#12148094) Homepage
    There's a lot of small towns near the border, on both sides with businesses have become dependant on the very easy and quick ability for people to pass back and forth across the border without the slightest hassle. I wonder if this change will dampen the economies of those small towns. Using a passport is only a small hassle, but it's a small hassle where previously there were none.

    When I was a small child my family went on a car trip through the canadian rockies. The border guard was one guy in a booth not much larger than a photomat. There wasn't even a barrier gate across the road that lifted out of the way or anything like that, just a stop sign. This was the full extent of the border crossing questions:

    guard (seeing family station-wagon): Hello folks, May I ask your purpose in entering Canada?
    my Dad: sightseeing camping. (obvious from the car full of supplies).
    guard: Are you planning on staying long?
    my Dad: just two weeks.
    guard: Do you have any guns or fruit? (What an odd combination of of questions)
    my Dad - a bag of apples we just bought for lunch later.
    guard: If you just bought them it should be okay. We're worried about the spread of fruit flies from further south but if you just bought them in washington they'll be fine.
    guard: yup! Welcome to Canada. Have a wonderful trip.
    my Dad - Don't you need to see some ID?
    guard: I suppose if it will make you feel better.

    The re-entry into the US was even more lax - The guard saw the license plates on the car were from the US, and asked, "Let's see - plates from Wisconsin - car packed for a camping trip - Coming back from a vacation I see? Okay - Welcome back, go on through..."

    Sigh. Those were friendlier times.

    • by optimus2861 (760680) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @06:29PM (#12148651)
      There's a lot of small towns near the border, on both sides with businesses have become dependant on the very easy and quick ability for people to pass back and forth across the border without the slightest hassle.

      Indeed. I'm reminded of the story of a New Brunswick couple who had their mail stopped for a while. They're Canadian citizens living on Canadian soil, but the only road to their home curves through American territory. One of those sleepy little border communities; they've lived there for over 50 years. In 2003 the American customs agents started "cracking down" on the couple -- in addition to stopping their mail and their newspaper, they also refused permission for any of their family to cross the border to visit them and even threatened to arrest the man for illegally crossing the border. Story #1 [nb.cbc.ca] Story #2 [www.cbc.ca].

      One can only dread the kind of hassles people like that will go through now.

  • well (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sv-Manowar (772313) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @05:40PM (#12148147) Homepage Journal
    The tighter the grip using passports the greater the likeihood they'll get the people to eventually accept a National Identity Card so everywhere you go even inside the US can be tracked.

    It just shows another clear example of the governments agenda for the future and its all about tracking obviously.

    Another invasive thing now they want to be able to use the black boxes in people's car for insurance data purposes in legal cases. Most people aren't even aware that new cars have these devices built in and are recording everything.
  • by d_jedi (773213) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @05:45PM (#12148212)
    So now I'll need to get a passport - which costs $87, and must be renewed every 5 years - just to cross the border??!

    Uhm.. no thanks. I think I'll just stay at home.
  • by Richard_J_N (631241) on Tuesday April 05, 2005 @07:18PM (#12149058)
    Personally, as a British citizen (and one involved in the fight against ID cards here), I resent the prospect of being fingerprinted, and treated like a common criminal, so much that I will not travel to the USA. I have nothing to hide, but I know that once fingerprints are on record, they will never be deleted, and I value my privacy. As a consequence, our family has not holidayed in the USA since, and this will cost the USA $10,000+ in lost income over a few years. Hopefully, the Democrats will change the policy back when GWB is finally kicked out.

    What happened to the USA? It was a free country with ideals, and now it is becoming a tyranny.

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