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Douglas Hus
(Hustler) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Passports on 01/24/2007 04:19:42 MST Print View

May be of interest,

From the "U.S. Department of State"

"Beginning January 23, 2007, ALL persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling by air between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda will be required to present a valid passport, Air NEXUS card, or U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document, or an Alien Registration Card, Form I-551, if applicable."

This is a pretty high news story here in Canada right now. How about the States?

(Don't leave home with out it?)



Edited by Hustler on 01/24/2007 04:27:25 MST.

Shawn Basil
(Bearpaw) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Passports on 01/24/2007 06:56:09 MST Print View

I've heard it mentioned, but it really hasn't gotten any heavy coverage. I didn't realize the date had actually come and gone. It's wierd, I've been to 14 foreign countries, but never had a passport (I travelled on a military ID and orders). Now I suddenly need a passport just to go to Canada? I guess I should get one before I hike the Long Trail this summer........

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Re: Passports on 01/24/2007 08:23:24 MST Print View

Don't worry if you are driving or sailing-you've got another year or so ;-)
I'll add I think it is the stupidest thing our Gov't has come up with in awhile (right next to the universal ID card for our country they are attempting). I have lived most of my life near the US/Canada border, and well, it was always a friendly cross over! (Ok, let me note: the Canadian border guards were always super duper nice. The US ones could be jerks when coming back. One time I got a long winded lecture about my son's birth certificate (he didn't cotton to the fact that I had left my kid's dad off if it!)
I do find it overly sad :-( It feels like we are treating everyone with distrust, especially our next door neighbors!

(RavenUL) - F
Re: Re: Re: Passports on 01/24/2007 10:40:12 MST Print View

Yeah, the passport thing was on the news *one* night. Most people were watching Seinfeld reruns or making another bowl of ice cream, as of course, ignorance is bliss. We Americans, as a nation, are pretty oblivious to the ever tightening noose the government wraps around our necks. As good little sheep we have a tendency to just give a little "baa" and a wag of our stumpy little tails as the shepherd matches us off to market. "Baaa... The shepherd is a good master and will always take care of us... Baa"

This passport thing is nothing more than one more way to keep tabs - in the land of free - on who goes where. Next year they will require you show your passport at ALL border crossings, not just at the airport. The year after that, RealID, with all its horrors is slated to roll out. Anyone want to take a guess when you will need to present your "National ID card" when crossing from one state to the next?

He who would sacrifice freedom for a little security deserves neither.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Passports on 01/24/2007 10:55:28 MST Print View

J R:

As you know, folks who have never ventured out into the wilds will give you a litany of reasons why it's dangerous to do so! Most don't ever plan to hike and the 'great wilderness' is nothing but an abstract to them. 90% of their fears is, of course, the fear of the unknown.

Something like 80% of all Americans don't carry a passport. In a similar way, the "rest of the world" is nothing but an abstract in their minds. You can imagine their feeling toward it: some combination of "don't know / don't care" plus the usual fear of the unknown. And when our president (and the media) tell them unceasingly that it's dangerous out there, they believe it readily.

Unfortunately, this vast group of people couldn't care less if the government requires passports to go anywhere. Indeed, since the government tells them that tracking people = more security -- a lot of them are actually throwing in their support!

Edited by ben2world on 01/24/2007 10:59:58 MST.

Douglas Hus
(Hustler) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Passports on 01/24/2007 11:12:43 MST Print View

All kinds of side issues with this coming out now. People who thought they where Canadians ...are not.
-People that traveled to other countries and had babies (Menonites).
-Boarder babies; closer to go to U.S. hospital vs. Canadian hospital.
-Mixed nationality mariage babies.



Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Passports on 01/24/2007 11:57:18 MST Print View

Actually, I think it's better to have all these "side issues" come out sooner rather than later.

Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Re:^4 Passports & RealID on 01/24/2007 20:11:22 MST Print View

With appropriate respect JR, I don't believe that is a fair characterization of passports or RealID act.
What do you object to in the following: (the essential elements, in non-legalese)

Provide standards for driver's licenses and ID cards
- Yep, this is effectively a National ID card. Doesn't bother me. There's less info on here than my last tax return. This will use digital cryptographic standards to make forgery very difficult, if not impossible for most any skilled forger. Unlike the ACLU's page on this act, it really does makes ID theft more difficult. By the way, can you tell me if my current Rhode Island / Alaska / Puerto Rico drivers license is legit, or even looks like the real thing.

Reduce the paperwork overhead for building border fences
- News flash: Some government agencies don't work well together - This changes that

Tighten rules for asylum seekers and aliens suspected of terrorist activities
- For legit asylum seekers who really do face persecution if they return home, it doesn't change that much, but makes it more difficult for someone to claim persecution for the primary purpose of staying in the US.

Changes "catch and release" programatics
- This has been almost comical as illegal aliens get caught, request a hearing, get a court date, then are released onto the streets, with no legal means of support, but are legally here until their court date, which could be months. Gee, I wonder how they support themselves...

Funds some small border security pilot projects
- Nothing compared to the size of Secure Border Initiative

Changing visa limits for temporary workers
- Different views here, adds some, restricts some, Australians win big on this one

So Im curious, which of these RealID components do you object to?

Best regards,

Edited by eaglemb on 01/24/2007 20:15:54 MST.

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Welcome to the real world on 01/24/2007 20:30:24 MST Print View

As an Australian living and working (legally) in New York all I can say is welcome to the real world, where I get fingerprinted every time I enter the country. The only country in which I have been fingerprinted.

The rest I will leave unsaid.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Passports for travellers on 01/24/2007 20:31:17 MST Print View

Having lived in Southern California, and Southern Arizona, I have a very strong desire to insist that everyone show proof of legal residency once.. it could be a Passport, I551, or applicable entry visa, etc.. a good time would be the first use of any public service, DMV, medical facility, border crossing, voting, etc.. Those who are in the US illegally need to removed on the next bus/plane out. No exceptions.
And of course I live by the same rules I espouse.
I have worked legally in two foreign countries and made sure my paperwork was always in perfect order and followed the laws of my host country.
I believe strongly in LEGAL immigration to the US, and even sponsored an immigrant once. Actually, becoming a US citizen is not difficult (just time consuming). I jumped throught the government hoops, red tape, stacks of paperwork, stood in lines which were a day long, etc.., and I have NO sympathy whatsoever for lazy/illegal people trying to circumvent that process. Do it right or get the h#$L out, now. It would be GREAT to insist on proof of legal residency for interstate travel; that would catch even more illegals.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Passports for travellers on 01/24/2007 20:45:55 MST Print View

I had to renew the passport, ($84), to do an Adventure Race in Baja coming up in March.

I think just the price alone is enough of a deterrent to not go unless you had plans while taking a trip.

About the only thing positive I can think to come out of this is that there are probably some mothers with teens that take off on weekends to Mexico to drink, ect, that will not have that opportunity anymore.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Real ID on 01/24/2007 21:01:04 MST Print View

My issue with it is the unsettling feeling that you are hearing the echo of "Papers Please!" in your ears. We are ever so slowly giving up so many rights to our gov't so that we feel "safe". Yet we are not being any more protected! We are giving up so many rights willingly that our forefathers fought hard to get.

In 2005 I found out my identity had been used in a (minor) criminal case when I was 18 or so. My name is listed as an alias on her criminal record (she only used it once). The scary thing is I have to carry on me (even when backpacking!) legal paperwork from the County I live in, stating who I am, who the criminal is, what her case #'s are, etc. It also contains my fingerprints. I have a copy shrunken down and laminated.

Why does this scare me? Well, come soon, I could easily have an overeager cop not accept my paperwork! (Even though it has a 24 hour telephone # on it any cop can call to confirm who I am. The paperwork lists that arresting me without looking into my background can be grounds for me suing them!) What I find even more scary is how much BAD info can be stored and used against you. For instance: for me to apply for certain jobs, I have to include a copy of that paperwork, and hope someone reads it before they run a background check on me. Can you imagine if that info is stored on a Real ID? I am very scared over that!

Not only that, but it is invasive! We need to question why we "need" it!

I like my drivers license. I like seeing Mt. Rainier behind me. I don't wait eagerly for the days of "id please".

What we need to be more worried about is battling corporations that demand fingerprinting when you are paying them (DisneyWorld) and heavy use of SSN for everyday use. (Like this: if you pay cash at a Drs office, you DON'T have to give your SSN, yet they still demand it!) The real horror is the amount of ID theft in the US, not the ghost of the boogeyman that may or may not exist-but you'll be reminded they "might" exist every week at 5 on the news.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Passports for travellers on 01/24/2007 22:52:44 MST Print View

I really have to take issue with some of these statements Brett...Nothing personal, but for the sake of arguement I have to call it like I see it.

"Those who are in the US illegally need to removed on the next bus/plane out. No exceptions."

...and replace the millions with whom? Without wrecking our economy? Will this make us safer?

"And of course I live by the same rules I espouse.
I have worked legally in two foreign countries and made sure my paperwork was always in perfect order and followed the laws of my host country."

Of course you do...because you CAN. Easily said coming from a position of privilege. If your home country had no jobs, there was no way of making it for yourself and your family, there were no social services, no political/social solutions in sight, and the country you wanted to work in put you on an immigration waiting list that could easily take ten years...Then what? Sit and just watch your family live in destitute poverty?

"Actually, becoming a US citizen is not difficult (just time consuming)."

I'm an educator credentialed in teaching English as a second language and have seen this firsthand. If you couldn't speak English, see how long it would take you to learn the language well enough to pass a fairly intensive test on the U.S. Constitution, our system of government, and basic U.S. history. Most of our English-speaking, native-born citizens couldn't pass this test if it was given on the spot.

"...I have NO sympathy whatsoever for lazy/illegal people trying to circumvent that process."

Lazy? I haven't seen many unemployed, native-born Americans rushing trucks and vans in hardware store parking lots or lining up on farms to bust their backs picking berries...I guess unemployment checks, welfare, and food stamps are much easier, huh?

"Do it right or get the h#$L out, now. It would be GREAT to insist on proof of legal residency for interstate travel; that would catch even more illegals."

Papers for interstate travel? Throw in some checkpoints with barking dogs and we're really on our way towards a bright new future. I don't care for turning this country into the Soviet Union over trying to catch people out to earn a buck without papers. And if this is about terrorism, all recent attacks (and don't forget Timothy McVeigh) have been carried out by people WITH papers.

How about denying health care for the sick & undocumented, young and old alike? Humanitarianism at its finest!

As one of the wealthiest and most utterly privileged countries on Earth, criminalizing the poor and desperate is a shame.

Edited by xnomanx on 01/24/2007 23:42:05 MST.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
good reply Craig on 01/24/2007 23:44:34 MST Print View

Craig, thanks for the thoughtful reply. Barking dogs or jack boots aren't necessary, but following the laws is, IMO. What you seem to be justifying is in fact a violation of federal laws. I am not suggesting that people DONT immigrate; as I said in my post; I welcome them, if them to do it correctly and legally; no exceptions.

This is not about terrorism, it is about equality for all the immigrants who went through paperwork h$%L to immigrate legally. I WANT law abiding people to come here and work at any job they are qualified to do, or want to try. I ENJOY hearing about immigrants coming here and doing a better job than native-born citizens, they are the type our economy needs.

In America any immigrant can try for any job (well, except one, as noted on the citizenship test you mentioned). They are welcome to work here as long as they want; legally.
I do seem to agree with you in that we are both angered by inappropriate use of welfare. It wasn't designed as a 'career choice' for healthy people.

Well, this seems to be a thread for another site, but backpacking does take us to foreign countries, where I for one learned to appreciate the freedom I have back in the US. I wish more Americans would go get that passport, and travel internationally. Once a persons mind has been opened to the world outside 'fortress America', perspective really changes, wouldn't you agree?
Thanks again for the thoughtful discussion.

(RavenUL) - F
Re: Re: Passports for travellers on 01/24/2007 23:47:57 MST Print View

"So Im curious, which of these RealID components do you object to?"

Every. Last. One.

Exactly which one of those makes ANYONE free?

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: good reply Craig on 01/25/2007 00:09:52 MST Print View

"I wish more Americans would go get that passport, and travel internationally. Once a persons mind has been opened to the world outside 'fortress America', perspective really changes, wouldn't you agree?"

You're absolutely right on this...I don't like the idea of the mandatory ID checks everywhere you go, but it is my understanding that the majority of Americans don't have passports...meaning they never see the rest of the world outside of television (and we all know how accurate that is!) I think more international travel would work wonders for our attitudes on foreign policy.

As my wife and her side of the family are legal immigrants, I do understand how the illegal immigration situation undermines the ethics of those that went the citezenship route- and it certainly isn't fair...but I don't think it's fair for people to have be stuck in abject poverty either. With papers or without, I don't think many have much of a choice. There's an ever growing population of young males from south of the border living on the streets in L.A.'s Skid Row. Why do they come? Because even that holds more potential than life at home.

I know this is a deep/heated issue, thanks for keeping the discussion civil (I apologize if I'm coming across too's certainly hard to tell the "tone" of those you're speaking with online).

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Craig re:Passports on 01/25/2007 00:55:33 MST Print View

Craig, no offense taken, I enjoyed your post. We are both closely related to legal immigrants, and so certainly qualified to discuss this issue from personal experience. I also want as many qualified law abiding people as possible to come enjoy the American dream, and have ridiculous amounts of free leisure time to sit in shag-carpeted McMansions and discuss lightweight backpacking here at our forum, instead of simply working to survive in some third world country.

I see your avatar is enjoying the almost uniquely American 'freedom to bear arms'; reminds me of the monkey in Smokey and the Bandit, but I feel old knowing that.. ha ha..

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
yet another perspective on 01/25/2007 05:31:17 MST Print View

another perspective (the Homeland Security t-shirt)

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Re: yet another perspective on 01/25/2007 06:19:52 MST Print View

I'm probably not the right person to comment on this thread cause (thankfully) i'm not from the USA. Im from the united states of Europe.

And you're right that you're border controls are one of the toughest i know of. A friend of mine even had to take a sedative (not sur how to write that) when traveling through the USA to get to middle America, but what is the problem with having to buy a passport?

My girlfriend lives in another country of the USE and yes off course i have to show my passport when getting on and off the plane. I'm glad that crossing the border by car between the countries of the USE i don't have to show my passport anymore, saves some time.

Here in Holland we're even required to carry a form of ID at all times. If a police officer has sth to do with you and you're not carrying ID you can even be fined for € 50. That's not because big brother is whatching us, but because some people give a false adress. And if some criminal thinks he can get away with giving a false name, he can't anymore.

So i don't mind having to carry ID 24/7, i'm carrying my drivers lisence anyway. And if i do sth wrong (like running a red light with my bike) than i deserve the PO asking me my ID don't I?

But from what i read the PO in the USA will be able to access a lot of personal data when he asks your id?


Shawn Basil
(Bearpaw) - F

Locale: Southeast
A historical perspective.... on 01/25/2007 06:53:20 MST Print View

Einstein, you bring up a good point. But there's one issue with the American tradition that is difficult for Europeans to understand sometimes. Americans get really upset at the loss of what are generally considered basic rights, and they get VERY upset with changes that impact upon those freedoms.

The best case in point would have to be the American Revolution. For the better part of a century and a half, the English colonies in American lived under a state of "benign neglect" from Parliament and the crown in London. Then begins the French & Indian War in 1754 (generally known as the Seven Year's War in Europe and beginning there in 1756). Net result, the British Empire gains Canada, the French West Indies, and so forth, but picks up a great deal of debt. The result, Parliament imposes a number of minor taxes on paperwork, tea, and other items and requires the colonials to help pay and house the British garrison. Such taxes were less than those of citizens in Britain and in many other colonies and it only made sense in light of the expenses of a drawn-out war.

Except to Americans.......

The results were the American Revolution and the creation of a contrary and freedom-insistent people who are viciously resistent to changes from the path we have known for over (a meager) 200 years. Compared to Europe, we're a teenager, with all the attitude, and the willingness to argue with ourselves. Just so long as outsiders don't take their jabs at us and then we get pretty chummy with each other again.....

But when our government does anything that we feel infringes on our freedoms, of course we react with passion, whether the changes make sense or not. I guess history will tell whether the current changes actually DO make sense or not, but for the moment most Americans will likely feel pretty upset about them.