"We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." James Madison

Friday, January 18, 2008

Borders getting tougher?

Chertoff: Tougher ID Rules for Borders
Associated Press
January 18, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) -- 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.

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.

As those who know my current work assignment, you know that I pass a border check point on a daily basis. Over the last couple of weeks, I've noticed an increase of BP personnel including canine officers thoroughly questioning all comers and inspecting all vehicles. Though this creates a bit of an inconvenience for the daily commuters like me, I welcome the diligence these men and women show while doing their jobs. At some point, I hope it gets even tougher.

By the way, every time I pass through the check point I thank each one for their service as I feel the job they do is just as important as our military.

To the border patrol, thank you for your service!