Border states rebel against ID requirements

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Redhots, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. Redhots
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    Redhots Member

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    Lawmakers fight to delay stiffer restrictions on travel from Canada

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12498004/

    WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is facing a rebellion by northern border-state lawmakers who want to push back deadlines requiring passports or tamperproof ID cards from all who enter the United States.

    In a bow to lawmakers whose states neighbor Canada, the Homeland Security Department is considering easing some of the rules for infrequent border crossers. But many in Congress, backed by Canadians, say the compromise isn’t enough, and are pushing to delay the restrictions, set to take effect in 2008, by 18 months.

    The rules, as they stand now, are “a train wreck on the horizon,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. He and Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, are looking to file legislation that would delay border requirements until July 2009. That legislation could come as early as this week as part of a massive spending bill the Senate is considering, Leahy spokesman David Carle said Wednesday. Stevens is chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

    Confronting the ‘Aunt Tilly’ problem
    The administration may initially address part of what some in Washington call the “Aunt Tilly” problem — occasional visitors to Canadian border communities who might be prevented from returning to the U.S. because they didn’t know to bring acceptable ID. The law applies to U.S. citizens and foreign visitors alike.

    “We are working on that, we’re concerned about that, and the last thing we want to do is discourage traffic,” Jim Williams, director of a Homeland Security Department program that monitors international travel to the U.S., said in an interview. “We’ve got to come up with solutions that meet people’s needs.”

    Specific plans are still being worked out. Williams said the administration was looking at issuing short-term passes, or one-day passes, for legitimate border travelers who have neither a passport nor the proposed “PASS” card that is being developed.

    To people who repeatedly try to cross the border without the right ID, however, “we might say, ‘Look, we won’t let you back in if you continue to do this and not get a passport or card,”’ Williams said. “We don’t want to discourage that person’s travel, but, on the other hand, we want to move people to where we can identify them.”

    Bumps in the road north
    The ID rules were part of a 2004 intelligence overhaul law, overwhelmingly approved by Congress, to tighten U.S. borders against terrorists. They have since pitted lawmakers from border states against those from the heartland, strained relations with Canada, and forced Homeland Security to roll out technology and training under a deadline that may prove too aggressive to meet.

    Concerns were highlighted last week by Canadian Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day, who questioned Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff about whether the rules would be ready.

    “Obviously I raised concerns, some of the same questions that you raised, in terms of, is it feasible?” Day told reporters in Washington. “Those are concerns of interest, those are concerns neighbors raise because they might be concerned about what their neighbor is doing.”

    The rules are not as controversial on the nation’s southern border, where more than 8 million Mexicans carry laser visas that let them easily travel between the two countries. Those who enter the U.S. from Canada now need only common forms of identification, such as a driver’s license and a birth certificate.

    Economic impact debated
    Critics fear the rules will dramatically reduce travel and tourism across the northern border, damaging local economies, as visitors shy away from the $97 cost of a passport. The PASS cards are expected to cost half that much, and perhaps far less, said Assistant Secretary of State Maura Harty.

    “We all recognize the security issues. But there’s practical and economic impacts that me and my colleagues all have been hit with, and we’re sensitive to,” said Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn.

    Homeland Security “needs to tell us exactly how this is going to work, exactly what the costs are going to be,” said Coleman, who voted for the 2004 law mandating the border crackdown. “We don’t think we’re at that stage.” Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said Homeland Security “is listening and is beginning to understand our problem, but we’re not going to rest until there’s a solution that solves it.”
     
  2. Redhots
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    Redhots Member

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    This looks like more feel good legislation (similar to a lot of gun stuff) that for the most part is only going to punish people who follow the law and take away tax monies from other programs where they would be better spent.

    If a "bad guy" wants to cross the border they're going to get across, period. Our borders are just too big. The expense of properly maintaining a real messure of security of them would be enormous.

    Even then its no guarantee... after all many people still made it across the Berlin Wall which was only 96 miles long... the US / Canada border is 3145 miles and the US / Mexico border is 1951 miles long.
     
  3. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Not that many. I am hoping that Mexico and Canada are much friendlier and free to their citizens than Eastern Germany/USSR were. :rolleyes: The eyes are meant as, 'no duh!' Not even a contest.
     
  4. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    I wonder who they'll blame when an attack happens in their state?

    "Damn GWB for not enforcing tougher rules!!!"
     
  5. Redhots
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    Redhots Member

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    Actually only something like 250 people were shot attempting to cross the wall while thousands made it through. Thats a very lopsided figure.

    Now that doesn't take into account the number of people who were stopped and turned around, but out of the people who were willing to risk it all to make it across the wall was a poor defense.

    The main idea behind putting up walls along the US boarder (at least with Canada) is to stop terrorists (specificly Islamic extremest, the suicide bombers) from sneaking in. A wall wont stop someone like that...

    And thats part of the point I was making, whether or not we or they shoot to kill people jumping the boarder is illrelvent. Its about "can people still sneak across?". I used the Berlin Wall as a classic example of just how ineffective a wall can be at stoping someone determined to cross it.

    The only people who are going to be effected by this kind of thing are people who follow the law and tax payers who will foot the HUGE bill at the expense of other programs. Same as it ever was.
     
  6. Redhots
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    Redhots Member

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    Well I don't know about "them", but I don't blame the police everytime someone is murdered. There is only so much you can do in a free society.
     
  7. Redhots
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    Redhots Member

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    I've noticed this board has serveral posters from Texas and other boarder states.

    I'm wondering if any of them could offer some insight to the validity of this snipit.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/02/26/BORDERFENCE.TMP

    Is that the attitude most mayors in boader states have?

    Specificly I'm interested in the part in bold text, about "Every single mayor from Brownsville to El Paso..." thats pretty much the entire Texas boarder.
     
  8. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    The numbers are dicey. In any case really doesn't matter, one was built to keep people 'in.' What is being called for here is to keep people out. There is a difference, which I'm sure you will refuse to acknowledge:

    http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/europe/9911/06/wall.death.strip/
     
  9. Redhots
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    Redhots Member

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    How is the intention of the builders of a wall relevent to the person trying to cross it?

    If i'm trying to get from point A to point B and there is a wall in my way that I need to get across; what does it matter if it was built to keep me in point A or keep me out of point B?
     
  10. Annie
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    Desire.

    When a country errects a wall as USSR was compelled to do, it's in reaction to something they can't control. IF Mexico errected a wall, to keep in their citizens, there would be a parallel.

    In this case however, both countries acknowledge the desire of the 'crossees' is employment/better opportunities.' The gate has been open, so 'why not?'

    If the gate is shut, the vast majority will try another way, legal entry or something in Mexico. The exception being the felons, a not insignificant number.
     

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