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Passports

michigan
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Passports

Was just online and they say the date for passports is Jan 22, 2007.

After the holidays. Homeland Security posted it yesterday. So that is a litte reprive. We were coming back on the 8th and have not

gotten ours back yet. Now I don't have to worry.

Sandy JOe

Cancun, Mexico
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1. Re: Passports

CNN and Fox are reporting the 23rd and the website carefully says "in January 2007" travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html but I am not even sure of that with strong last minute lobbying by both Mexico and the Caribbean nations.

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Colo Spgs
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2. Re: Passports

My opinion of the way the State Dept is handling the passport issue: INEPT

Pick a date and stick to it and advertise the requirement.

In a Little Cafe...
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3. Re: Passports

Here's the official info:

New Requirements for Travelers

Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)

The proposed implementation timeline has two phases:

Beginning January 23, 2007, ALL persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling by air between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda will be required to present a valid passport, Air NEXUS card, or U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document.

As early as January 1, 2008, ALL persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda by land or sea (including ferries), may be required to present a valid passport or other documents as determined by the Department of Homeland Security. While recent legislative changes permit a later deadline, the Departments of State and Homeland Security are working to meet all requirements as soon as possible. Ample advance notice will be provided to enable the public to obtain passports or passport cards for land/sea entries.

Travel Documents for U.S. Citizens Under WHTI

Under the proposed implementation plan, the following documents will be acceptable to fulfill document requirements:

U.S. Passport: U.S. citizens may present a valid U.S. passport when traveling via air between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda, and may also use a U.S. passport when traveling via sea and land borders (including ferry crossings).

The Passport Card (also referred to as the PASS Card): This limited-use passport in card format is currently under development and will be available for use for travel only via land or sea (including ferries) between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. Similar in size to a credit card, it will fit easily into a wallet.

DOS and DHS also anticipate that the following documents will continue to be acceptable for their current travel uses under WHTI: SENTRI, NEXUS, FAST, and the U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document. As proposed, members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty traveling on orders will continue to be exempt from the passport requirement.

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4. Re: Passports

Very strange, it is not what the head of Homeland Security said today:

Homeland Security to require passports for U.S. entry

POSTED: 1:39 p.m. EST, November 22, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Virtually all air travelers entering the United States beginning January 23 will need to show passports -- even U.S. citizens, the Homeland Security Department announced Wednesday.

Until now, U.S. citizens, travelers from Canada and Bermuda, and some travelers from Mexico who have special border-crossing cards for frequent visitors were allowed to show other proofs of identification, such as drivers' licenses or birth certificates.

"The ability to misuse travel documents to enter this country opens the door for a terrorist to carry out an attack," Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said in a statement.

Chertoff, who disclosed the effective date in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, said the change was a crucial next step to helping ensure the nation's security.

The department had been expected to institute the passport requirement for air travelers around the beginning of the year. Setting the date on January 23 pushes the start past the holiday season.

"Each of these steps raises the bar to an attack. None of this is perfect. None of them is foolproof. But we're always better off when we build higher levels of security," he said in the interview.

"Right now, there are 8,000 different state and local entities in the U.S. issuing birth certificates and driver's licenses," Chertoff said. Having to distinguish phony from real in so many different documents "puts an enormous burden on our Customs and Border inspectors," he said.

In a few cases, other documents still may be used for air entry into the U.S. by some frequent travelers between the U.S. and Canada, members of the American military on official business and some U.S. merchant mariners.

Under a separate program, Homeland Security plans to require all travelers entering the U.S. by land or sea, including Americans, to show passports or an alternative security identification card when entering the U.S. starting as early as January 2008.

The Homeland Security Department estimates that about one in four Americans has a passport. Some people have balked at the $97 price tag.

The September 11 Commission said in its report, "For terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons."

The commission recommended strengthening security of travel documents. A 2004 law passed by Congress mandated the change to require passports as the only acceptable travel document, with few exceptions, but the exact date had been in question.

Canadian officials and some members of Congress from border states have expressed concern that the changes could interfere with travel and commerce.

Chertoff said his agency's data revealed that in September 2006, 90 percent of passengers leaving from Canadian airports had passports. The department estimated that 69 percent of U.S. air travelers to Canada, 58 percent of U.S. travelers to Mexico, and 75 percent of U.S. travelers to the Caribbean hold passports.

"Could James Bond and Q come up with a fake passport?" Chertoff asked, referring to the fictional British spy and his espionage agency's technical genius. Of course, he replied, because "nothing is completely perfect."

Still, he said, with new technology, it is increasingly difficult to forge passports, and having just one document to scrutinize should make inspection easier for both inspectors and travelers.

.

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5. Re: Passports

Too much text. YOur answer is January 23rd 2007.

6. Re: Passports

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