- May 19, 2004
- Reaction score
- Plano, TX
- Political Leaning
- Libertarian - Right
General management sophomore Christopher Tyll has made many trips to Canada and back - sometimes without showing any identification at the border. But on Tuesday, the U.S. departments of State and Homeland Security introduced the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which will require citizens from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Bermuda to have passports or certain other documents to enter or re-enter the United States.
"A lot of times, they don't even ask for a license," Tyll said. "If you go in without being searched or asked for identification, I think it's good that they're actually going to start looking at stuff, including the passport."
Officials say the change will help with safety and efficiency.
"What we're hoping for is not just a more secure border but also one that is able to facilitate the movement of people more easily," said Frank Moss, deputy assistant secretary of state for passport services.
Passports are easier to use than licenses and birth certificates because they don't vary between states and years, he said.
A passport costs $97 for people 16 years old and older and $82 for people younger than 16.
"It's an inconvenience just to cross the border because it's $97 for a passport now," said LeRonda Perry, a packaging graduate student who already has a passport. "But I'd rather bring my passport than bring my birth certificate and lose it."
The departments hope the initiative will be fully implemented by Dec. 31, 2007, but air and sea travel requirements will be in place earlier.
By the end of 2005, travel to or from Bermuda might require a passport, and by 2006, air and sea travel to or from Mexico and Canada might require a passport.