New border-crossing rules that take effect in two weeks will mean longer lines and stiffer demands for ID, including for returning Americans, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Thursday.
A driver’s license won’t be good enough to get Americans past a checkpoint at the Canadian or Mexican border, Chertoff said.
That will be a surprise to many people who routinely cross the border with Canada, but Chertoff bristled at criticism that such extra security would be inconvenient. More than 800,000 people enter the U.S. through land and sea ports each day. ‘
‘It’s time to grow up and recognize that if we’re serious about this threat, we’ve got to take reasonable, measured but nevertheless determined steps to getting better security,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Thousands of people enter the U.S. through land crossings every day.
The biggest effect of the change will be at the Canadian border since it applies to both Canadians and Americans.
Non-Americans coming in through Mexico already need extra documentation.
So far, all the thousands of land crossers need to do, is elude the Border Patrol and walk across.
Congressional critics representing Northern border states were anything but impressed with Chertoff’s rhetoric.
His department has proved incapable of implementing a 2004 law on border security, and Chertoff ”frankly has as much credibility on telling people to ‘grow up’ as Geoffrey the Giraffe,” said Rep. Tom Reynolds, a Buffalo-area Republican.
Added Sen. Norm Coleman, a Minnesota Republican, ”Secretary Chertoff’s comments that those objecting to the plan need to ‘grow up’ indicates that the department still doesn’t understand the practical effects of DHS policies on the everyday lives of border community residents.”
……Under the new system, which takes effect Jan. 31, Americans and Canadians who are 19 or older will have to present proof of citizenship when they seek to enter the United States through a land or sea port of entry. A passport will be fine. Or a birth certificate coupled with some other ID such as a driver’s license.
Chertoff said he had been surprised to learn that simply stating ”I am an American” and showing an ID card has been sufficient to get back into the country. ”I don’t think in this day and age we can afford the honor system for entering the United States,” he said. ”Regrettably, we live in a world in which people lie sometimes about their identity.”
Regrettably, Chertoff’s border security is broke dick. Cracking down on people who obey the law isn’t going to fix the problem of the thousands who don’t.
For people other than Americans or Canadians, the rules at the northern border will be unchanged — passports and visas will still be required. The same goes for non-Americans at the Mexican border.
Can Chertoff possibly be that stupid ?? Making American citizens show multiple forms of identification is going to stem the flood of ILLEGAL ALIENS who don’t bother coming across the legal way?
Good gawd. We need a Homeland Security chief with common sense and what we have instead, is a clown that makes an embarrassment out of himself and border security.