Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - It used to be that when customs officers at the border crossing into the U.S. asked "Where were you born?", they'd take your answer at face value. New rules, in effect Thursday, require you to prove it. Americans and Canadians over age 18 will be required to show some document beyond a driver's license to prove citizenship, such as a passport or a birth certificate. In the past, some people entering the U.S. from Canada or Mexico simply had to declare their nationality...This is a straight-up lie. The wife and I have crossed the border a few dozen times since 9/11. Guess, what? They don't trust you at ALL. They used to, but it was just trust. Technically the rules said you needed to prove it, so all of a sudden you better have a birth certificate or whatever else they feel like. My first encounter with this was troublesome as it was a surprise; I got directed to a scary room with lots of stern looks, and only got in by lying. "I think they only draft citizens" as I showed the Selective Service card. I know this to be untrue, but it got me out of the room. To be clear, the Canadians are no better. They arbitrarily (i.e. suddenly enforced long-standing rules without telling us) tightened these restrictions at the same time. So, we've been traveling with passports every time for the past 6 years.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Am I the only one who actually travels across the U.S./Canada border? Anyone seen the press releases and reporting today. This one is typical: