a greater imposed Cascadian divide by the US
The current regime in the US-Amerika plans to tighten border checks in and out along the US-Canadian border. This has a potential of severing Cascadian communities along the worlds most longest peaceful border. Cascadian communities and family's that are divided by the artifical border of the US and Canada may now suffer greater division and lose economic revenue that has been generated by the ease of US and Canadian citizens passing through to visit loved ones, engage in commerence and sight-seeing.
Imagine a Re-Unified Cascadia. A Cascadia not controlled by corporation from the Atlantic coast or from Texas. A Cascadia devoted to freedom and sustainablity. Imagine the economic power that Cascadia would have without subsidizing US-American welfare states like Kentucky or Alabama. Imagine a Cascadia devoted to "Ecology, Equality and Equity" through "Respect, Reverence and Responsiblity"
Some articles on the deepening division of Cascadia:
Tighter U.S. rules for travel to Canada
Returning Americans will need passports -- from Mexico, too
By CHARLES POPE AND CANDACE HECKMAN
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTERS
Wednesday, April 6, 2005
WASHINGTON -- Americans returning from Canada and Mexico would be required to present a passport to re-enter the country, the federal government said yesterday, deciding tighter security along historically open borders is worth the inconvenience travelers may face.
For motorists, the change would take place by 2008.
Few areas will feel the impact more than the Pacific Northwest, which for years has enjoyed easy access to Canada and back and counted on a relaxed border to generate billions of dollars in trade.
The proposed rule, announced by the State Department and Department of Homeland Security, is designed to standardize the documents needed to enter the United States from its closest neighbors. It applies as well to all people traveling to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda and South America.
"What we're trying to do ... is really raise the bar, raise the minimum standards for travel to certain parts of the world," said Elaine Dezenski, acting assistant secretary for Border and Transportation Security for the Department of Homeland Security.
"And essentially what we're asking U.S. citizens and Canadian citizens ... is to consider travel in and out of the U.S. into those particular areas as equivalent to traveling to Europe or Asia. The reality is we're living in a post-9/11 environment and we need to look at our border security in a more comprehensive way."
Some travelers, business officials and lawmakers yesterday cautiously embraced the plan but said safeguards must be built in to make sure that cross-border commerce isn't hampered. Others thought it went too far.
"I can understand the terrorist thing, but I thinks it's gotten out of line," said Lindy Hanson, 43, of Clarkston. "They're still going to have to look for the same things. A passport's not going to say, 'This is a suspicious person. Search this guy.' "
To Hanson, Canada has been like another state. He has a large family just across the border in Grand Forks, B.C., and having to buy a passport to visit them is an unfair burden, he added.
"The challenge for the State Department and Homeland Security is to show this can be done without impacting commerce that so many border communities depend on," said Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., whose district includes the busy border crossing at Blaine.
"My biggest concern is that they will start implementing it in a way that discourages legitimate trade and travel," Larsen said.
Canada is the United States' largest trading partner, with $1.2 billion worth of goods crossing the border every day. Nearly 16 million Canadians entered the United States last year, generating an estimated $7.9 billion in travel-related revenue, according to data provided by the Travel Industry Association in Washington and cited by The Associated Press.
Federal officials yesterday stressed that they are announcing the proposed rules well in advance to condition travelers and to ease any problems.
Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Maura Harty said advance notice of the proposed change was made because "we recognize the implications this might have for industry, business and the general public, as well as our neighboring countries."
Nancie Denarde, a Canadian citizen and permanent resident of Washington, said the change likely would be felt more by Americans, who probably are not as familiar with cross-border rules and are used to traveling freely. Denarde has a green card and owns a special pass that allows her to cross the border into Canada more quickly.
"As Canadians, I think we always knew we had to show everything," she said. "I think Americans were given more leeway because they don't carry around their birth certificates like we do."
Until the new standards fall into place, traveling to Canada and back is little different from driving to another state. Under current rules, U.S. citizens returning from Canada are required only to present a driver's license or other government-sanctioned identification card. Gaining entry from Mexico is a bit tougher. Americans must show a photo I.D. as well as proof of citizenship such as a birth certificate or naturalization certificate.
The new requirement for a passport could pose a problem for some. Only 23 percent of Americans have a passport, according to the State Department. The government charges $97 to obtain an initial U.S. passport, in addition to requiring two passport photos and an original copy of a birth certificate or other documentation proving U.S. citizenship. Expedited processing for travelers who need passports quickly costs another $60.
The administration said that it planned to solicit reaction to the proposal and then adopt a final rule later this year.
The most recent government figures show that 16.2 million U.S. residents visited Canada and 16.8 million visited Mexico in 2002.
The education process is already under way at Washington's border crossings. Federal authorities say they encourage travelers to carry passports, and many already do.
Seattle resident Roy Thonge does.
Thonge, of Laotian descent, was born in California. He said he has never been hassled crossing into Canada, but his friends have been. He credits his passport.
"I figure make it easy on myself. ... I'm American, but when you first see me, I'm this Asian guy," Thonge said. "I don't want to get hassled, so I pull out my passport before they can even ask me."
Still, problems are likely to arise at busy borders such as Blaine, where 3.6 million cars and 586,000 trucks passed through heading south in 2004.
The potential for trouble will increase in 2010 when Washington's border crossings will be deluged with traffic heading to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, B.C.
"With the 2010 Olympics it's important that the State Department and Homeland Security get this right," Larsen said. "We cannot have a situation where legitimate Olympic travel is being stopped."
For the program to succeed, Larsen said, the government must be willing to adapt.
One sign that that might be realized was the admission that existing programs to verify people's identity ahead of time so they can speed through the border will be continued.
For the northern border, that program is called NEXUS for individuals and FAST for commercial trucking. Federal officials said people in either program would automatically be allowed to pass through.
About 45,000 people are enrolled in the FAST program and 76,000 more in NEXUS, federal officials said.
Under the government's new passport proposal, U.S. citizens would be required to present their passports:
# By Dec. 31, if returning from Caribbean nations, Bermuda, Central and South America.
# By Dec. 31, 2006, if returning by air or sea from Canada and Mexico.
# By Dec. 31, 2007, if returning across border crossings with Canada and Mexico.
P-I Washington correspondent Charles Pope can be reached at 202-263-6461 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Schumer Opposes Passport Plan
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is joing other Senators from Northern Border states to oppose
a new State Department plan which requires passports for cross border U.S. - Canadian trips by 2008.
The Democratic Senator from New York says the State Department and Homeland Security did not consult any officials from border communities before introducing the plan on Tuesday.
Schumer says there is obviously a need for better screening at the border crossings but he feels this plan will only slow down cross border commerce which is vital for the Western New York region.
Schumer is calling on federal officials to come up with some alternative form of identity check or screening method.
U.S. to Require Passports at Border Entry Points
Wed Apr 6, 7:55 AM ET
By Paul Richter Times Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — In a move intended to counter terrorism, the U.S. will require by 2008 that Americans show passports or other specialized documents to reenter the country from Mexico and Canada, federal officials said Tuesday.
Under the restrictions, recommended by the Sept. 11 commission, Americans no longer would be allowed to show only a driver's license or a government-issued photo identification card, officials said. Similarly, Canadians, who have been able to enter the United States with a driver's license, would need a passport.
Some in the travel industry have opposed the changes, which would make it harder for travelers to take spur-of-the-moment trips. Critics have contended that it would bring an end to a long relationship between the U.S. and Canada that allowed casual cross-border travel as a part of daily life.
But U.S. officials point out that the Algerian man who was convicted of plotting to bomb Los Angeles International Airport in late 1999 was admitted from Canada without a passport.
U.S. officials decided to tighten the borders to keep out "people who want to hurt us," said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Under the planned rules, Americans returning from Panama and Bermuda also would need to show passports or secure documents, officials said. Currently, Americans returning from Mexico, Panama or Bermuda need only show a government-issued ID card, plus proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or a naturalization certificate.
In addition to passports, American travelers would be able to use the secure "border crossing card" also known as a laser visa. Some Mexicans traveling frequently to the United States use the laser ID in place of a passport and visa.
Officials said travelers probably would be able to obtain secure ID cards issued under several other federal programs, such as those for frequent travelers and shippers.
The new rules would be phased in. The passport rule would be imposed on air and sea travel from the Caribbean, Bermuda and Central and South America on Dec. 31 of this year. It would be extended to air and sea travel from Canada and Mexico on Dec. 31, 2006. A year later it would apply to land crossings.
The changes are required under the intelligence reform law approved by Congress and signed by President Bush last year. In implementing the law's requirements, State Department officials said there would be a 60-day period for public comment. The rules could undergo changes based on the comments before becoming final this fall.
"We recognize the implications this might have for industry, business and the general public, as well as our neighboring countries, and they are important partners in this initiative," said Maura Harty, assistant secretary of State for consular affairs.
She said the advance notice of the proposed requirements would allow those affected "to voice concern and provide ideas for [alternative] documents acceptable under the law."
Elaine Dezenski, an acting assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said the changes would make travel within the Western Hemisphere more like other foreign trips.
"We want folks to think about their travel to and from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda as equivalent to taking a trip to Europe or Asia," Dezenski said.
Even with the new rules, Canadians would be exempt from fingerprinting requirements that would apply to other foreign visitors to the U.S., officials said.
Some Canadians have voiced criticism about U.S. border concerns. In reaction, one Canadian official said, his country might begin requiring Americans to show their passports before crossing into Canada.
"We will review our requirements for American citizens, and we're going to do that in collaboration with the United States," Canadian Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan said outside the House of Commons in Ottawa.
Maryscott "Scotty" Greenwood, executive director of the Canadian American Business Council in Washington, said that for traffic to continue to flow smoothly with the new rules, governments would have to provide sufficient resources at the border and would have to make people in border communities fully aware of the new requirements.
"Implementation will be crucial," she said.
Border security has been a leading concern among U.S. policymakers since the Sept. 11 attacks. The Sept. 11 commission report warned last year that "the current system enables non-U.S. citizens to gain entry by showing minimal identification. The 9/11 experience shows that terrorists study and exploit America's vulnerabilities."
It said that "Americans should not be exempt from carrying biometric passports or otherwise enabling their identities to be securely verified when they enter the United States; nor should Canadians or Mexicans."
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