Vive Le Canada

Changes Considered For US/Canada Passport Plan
Date: Thursday, October 20 2005

Changes Considered For US/Canada Passport Plan
WBEN Newsroom - Wednesday, October 19, 2005 06:25 AM

Washington, DC (WBEN) - It's a plan that's been criticized on both sides of the border. Now, the Department of Homeland Security says it's looking into alternatives to a new requirement that would require passports for U.S. citizens traveling into Canada.

On Tuesday, Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff said the government may instead issue wallet-sized ID cards for citizens traveling over the northern border.

The passport requirement is due to take effect by 2008. Many leaders believe that passports -- which currently cost nearly $100 -- are simply too expensive for many people used to taking quick jaunts into Canada for shopping, dining or entertainment.

Western New York Congressman Brian Higgins agrees the plan -- as it currently stands -- work hurt relations between the U.S. and its neighbor to the north.

"We are friends, we are trading partners, and our life quality and economies are interdependent," Higgins told WBEN. "The imposition of a passport requirement would severely disrupt all of that."

Currently, natural-born U.S. citizens need only a drivers licence or a birth certificate to get over the border.

[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on October 20, 2005]

This article comes from Vive Le Canada

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