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You Must Have Papers

In another move to be really annoying by the Hedgemony, from today you need special documents to enter the US from Canada

Under WHTI — the U.S.-legislated Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative — anyone from the Western Hemisphere entering the United States must produce a document that contains photo identification and proof of citizenship.

Compliant documents include a passport, a NEXUS card, a FAST card, an enhanced driver’s licence, or a Secure Certificate of Indian Status.

If you’re 15 or younger, you’ll only need proof of Canadian citizenship. Accepted documents are an original or photocopy of a birth certificate or a citizenship card. If you’re 18 or younger and travelling with a school or other organized group — under adult supervision and with parental consent — you can also get through with just proof of citizenship.

Before the legislation was passed, a birth certificate or photo ID was usually enough.

It’s estimated that around 50 per cent of Canadians hold a passport. For Americans, it’s closer to 20 per cent.

Do the same rules exist for Americans?

If they’re entering the U.S. from Canada, yes. Americans will be required to produce an approved document that verifies identity and citizenship.

The “Secure Certificate of Indian Status” doesn’t actually exist yet, because the First Nations haven’t really decided if they want to spend the money on this foolishness.

The NEXUS card and FAST card are TSA boondoggles, and many US states and Canadian provinces aren’t sure they want to spend money on the RFID chip equipped “enhanced driver’s licence” [that’s license in the US].

So, how many people will spend $100 to get a passport in the US, and how much will be lost in border cities because people don’t want to deal with the hassle? It’s hard to say, but we lost the majority of our normal winter Canadian visitors when they cut the visa from 6 to 3 months.


1 Suzan { 06.01.09 at 5:53 pm }

All are moves to Nazification (welcomed by every ignorant, security-seeking rube).

Heil Cheney (and Bushes)!

The NEXUS card and FAST card are TSA boondoggles, and many US states and Canadian provinces aren’t sure they want to spend money on the RFID chip equipped “enhanced driver’s licence” [that’s license in the US].


2 cookie jill { 06.01.09 at 7:25 pm }

OT – I LOVE the Bryan Pirate backdrop

3 Bryan { 06.01.09 at 8:02 pm }

It’s a real pain if you live in Rochester, NY and are used to making border runs to buy real beer on the other side of Lake Ontario in Belleville, Suzan. In other places it means having a passport to visit the library because there are border communities that share services like the local library.

In North Dakota there are farmers who are going to have to buy GPS units for their tractors so they don’t end up in another country while plowing.

It’s stupid, expensive, and worthless, from a security standpoint.

Jill, it’s for a local festival that runs through next Monday night.

4 Kryten42 { 06.01.09 at 9:00 pm }

And of course Bryan, as we well know *cough* 😉 It’s totally impossible to forge these things. I mean… you’d have to be very determined to do it. I can’t imagine anyone being that determined, really… The general, reasonably honest, public will once again suffer because of false security. Though, we know this is really about tracking everyone’s movements. Big Brother is alive, though luckily, incompetent. The *real* security threats, constantly prove that’s true. As usual, it’s the *normals* who get screwed, and they will, as usual, allow it. 🙂

5 Bryan { 06.01.09 at 9:59 pm }

You don’t need to forge anything. They are being produced in Thailand – it would be quicker and cheaper to buy the real thing with baht that pay dollars for an inferior forgery. [How incredibly stupid is it to produce any “secure” document in Asia?]

It doesn’t occur to anyone that only honest people obey the law. They really are trying to crush tourism to the US.

6 Steve Bates { 06.01.09 at 10:52 pm }

It’s all just part of the war on tourists. Or something like that.

The last time I returned from Canada to the U.S., I happened to have my passport with me, as Stella did not. I mean, good grief, we were only going to Victoria, BC for a night. But hey, that was before 9/11. They let her back in with no hassle. I was also not hassled, though they did scan whatever electronic stuff that old passport had into some sort of reader. I wonder what they did with the fact of my transit.

I have no real confidence in paper documentation of any sort. Currency is difficult (not impossible) to forge in quantities large enough to (ahem) make money, but personal documents can be forged for the use of a single individual, and are therefore worth the trouble to produce… I won’t say “forge,” because as you note, even the “real” things are often enough outsourced. I bet our government got a really good price on the contract in Thailand.

Here I sit, about two feet away from my shiny new passport renewed last year, presumably containing an RFID chip or some such. Say, I wonder what would happen if I stuck it in the microwave for a few seconds…

Steve Bates´s last blog post..Anti-Choice Terrorists

7 Bryan { 06.01.09 at 11:28 pm }

Just keep it in a metal foil film pouch, Steve. Actually, my understanding is that the contract is with a Belgian company that outsources the work to Thailand.

We could use the exact same presses that we use for money, and use the same procedures, including watermarking. The RFID chip is just silly and expensive, especially when you have to carry it through all of the scanners at the airport.

For $100 you should get “rich Corinthian leather” and gold embossing, with the information entered in calligraphy. Oh, yes, and a picture that is flattering while actually looking like you.

I had both a tourist passport, and an official duty passport when I was in Europe, but almost all of my traveling was done with my military ID and NATO orders. The orders were a just typed on plain paper run off a copy machine. It was absurd that no one cared about my passports, but the military wanted me to carry them.

8 Kryten42 { 06.01.09 at 11:51 pm }

I was being sarcastic Bryan. 😉
(Yeah, I know! Such a shock!) 😆

I had a few different passports and papers in my *other* career. All legit (well, Gov produced, with everything up to my birth records changed to match). I also had a couple spare sets for emergencies.

Belgiam and Thailand… That’s funny! LOL I wouldn’t trust either an inch (But, more than I’d trust Israel)! Amazing…
Makes one wonder what the *real* goal is…

9 Bryan { 06.02.09 at 12:18 am }

“Low bid” is the story for consumption of the little people, although I fail to see how they could underbid the Bureau of Printing and Engraving. No doubt, as is almost always the case with Repubs, there was no bid sought from the Bureau because “everyone knows that private enterprise is cheaper and more efficient”.

I assumed you were being sarcastic, I was going further by noting that the real thing could be had cheaper than a copy, and are probably already for sale in every major Asian city. The only drawback is that many Asian knockoffs are better than the original documents, which gives them away.

If they aren’t going to maintain control from manufacture to issuance, there is no control. It’s all security theater, not the real deal.