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Thread: Increased border security

  1. #1
    Addicted to curves azgman's Avatar
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    Increased border security

    DERBY LINE, Vermont (Reuters) - The United States has tightened security with Canada in its northeast corner to the dismay of businesses and residents accustomed to crossing the world's longest undefended border with little more than a wave of a hand or a flash of a driver's license.

    Since last week, most travelers from Canada are being required to show identification and submit to background checks at U.S. border posts in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, said Ted Woo, U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman in Boston.

    "It's such a shock to all of us here," said Florence Joyal, 68, who works the cash register in a general store in the Vermont village of Derby Line, whose Main Street leads straight into the Canadian province of Quebec.

    "Before, you didn't even show your ID to cross the border."

    Porous in vast stretches and often invisible, America's 5,500-mile (8,900-km) border with Canada is drawing closer scrutiny after President Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper agreed in March to work together on border security.

    The tougher screening was confined to New England and did not represent new U.S. policy, said Woo.

    "In the past, if an individual came across the border their IDs would be checked. But there wouldn't be a cross-referencing of 100 percent of those people into our databases," said Woo, whose Boston office oversees about 40 border checkpoints in Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire.

    "We're trying to increase border security," he said.

    While Washington focuses on illegal immigration on the volatile U.S. southern border, a sophisticated drug-smuggling tunnel discovered last year between Vancouver and Seattle and the 1999 arrest of the "millennium bomber" on Canada's western border highlight concerns about the northern boundary.

    The tougher scrutiny of travelers slowed border traffic to a crawl on Canada's May 22 Victoria Day holiday, frustrating not only Canadians but also U.S. businesses near the border which had expected Canadians to crowd into stores armed with a currency at its strongest level against the dollar since 1978.

    Some angry business owners telephoned their state senator or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to complain after the delays hurt sales, said Dennis Michaud, executive director of the Greater Madawaska Chamber of Commerce in Maine.

    Since then, the checks have been streamlined so people who cross the border multiple times in a day undergo only one background check to reduce congestion, Woo said. He said the checks would continue but the delays would be reduced.

    CARS TURNING BACK

    "We did notice vehicles turning around at the border crossing because it was just too long of a wait," said Michaud. "But they seem to have come back when the line was shorter ... we have seen the lines ease up in the past few days," he added.

    The tougher security comes amid growing opposition to U.S. rules that would require passports or sophisticated ID cards to enter the United States from Canada from January 1, 2008.

    Five Canadian provinces and the six New England states agreed this month to work together to postpone the legislation, which Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy (news, bio, voting record) has called a "train wreck on the horizon for the northern border."

    Some fear the rules could drive a wedge between border communities that are culturally and economically entwined, and strain the world's biggest trading relationship by slowing the $1.2 billion in trade flowing each day across the border.

    "I worry that it will greatly reduce the number of Canadians who come to the United States," said Roland Roy, 60, who owns Brown's Drug Store in Derby Line, a town of 796 people whose library straddles the border with parking for Canadians on one side and Americans on the other.

    "After September 11, many people were fearful of crossing the border and then you add this to it and that fear is multiplied," he said. "When I grew up, Customs basically didn't exist. You just crossed. It's getting stricter and stricter."

    More than 300,000 people travel between the United States and Canada each day. Only about 20 percent of U.S. citizens and 40 percent of Canadians hold passports, which cost nearly $100. The U.S.-proposed PASS cards would cost about half that price.

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  2. #2
    I Used to Be Someone sheridesabeemer's Avatar
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    Not a big deal

    Interesting article. We crossed into the US at Derby Line, VT this past weekend. What an odd set up. You can stay on the main road without even getting in line for customs! I don't know who is allowed to do this, but many were; one car even had CT plates!

    We saw people showing drivers licenses. Until they got to us. He politely asked if we had our passports, which we did. He took them inside and came out shortly. Asked us some of the usual questions. I think we had credibility due to our Lake Carmi state part permit I had prominently displayed in the map pocket of my tank bag.

    There was nothing frustrating about the experience. It was 3PM on Sunday; the line was maybe 5 deep. I imagine many people turn around because it's easy to accidentally leave the country! You cross a bridge and voila a customs stop.

    Getting out of the US is a no brainer, no ID even asked for.
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  3. #3
    raven
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    Increased Security...not a bad thing.....

    I crossed into Canada and back just yesterday. A small crossing in Northern NY, into Canada rode slowly to the booth, shut off bike , raised helmet chin piece, unzipped jacket for PASSPORT, Asked name, residence, (PASSPORT now in hand), citizenship, going where, how long in Canada. Chatted some about Montecristo's a small motorcycle shop my destination.

    Nice visit with Yves Faucher the owner of Montecristo's a small shop that works on BMW's, Moto Guzzi's, Ducatis, and Laverda's. Chat with a customer with R75/5 having a little work done about the up coming rally and riding around Quebec.

    Back to the States, rode slowly to the booth, shut off bike, lift helmet chin bar, unzip jacket for passport, (an additional inspector walks up to a four o'clock position by me) exchange greetings with Inspector in booth. Inspector in booth asks for plate Number she enters info into computer (Inspector now knows registered owner and address of vehicle), (my PASSPORT now in hand) name, place of residence, citizenship. Inspector politely gestures for my PASSPORT and enters PASSPORT info compares information now on her computer, asks if I was bringing any thing back into the country. Returns PASSPORT. Chat some with both about the Llamas and Reindeer farm 100 yards north of border.


    I'm very agreeable to increased security on all our borders, north, south, east, and west. It's where I live , it's where my homes are, I expect those entering my country to do so legally.

    A PASSPORT makes travel between Canada and the US uneventful mostly.

    The major border crossings can be a agonizing slow( as in hours) as Inspectors on both sides try to verify ID of those without PASSPORTS.

  4. #4
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    border security

    I just wish the two administrations could get together and work out a mutually acceptable border pass card. Then we could leave our passports where they belong: in a secure vault, ready for use for travel to non-North American countries. I don't like to carry my passport while bike touring, because it's difficult to keep it secure all of the time, especially if I am camping.
    In Canada, if you lose your passport more than 2 or 3 times, you're cut off.

    Rinty
    Last edited by rinty; 06-01-2006 at 01:01 AM. Reason: change modifier

  5. #5
    vtpaul
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    I wonder what the procedure is in the Derby Opera House where the border is a red line drawn on the floor diagonally through the audience? Or downstairs in the town library where the same red line is on the floor between the front door and the check out desk? Do you need a passport to use the restroom?

  6. #6
    25-MPH NEXT 1OO MILES PacWestGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rinty
    I just wish the two administrations could get together and work out a mutually acceptable border pass card. Then we could leave our passports where they belong: in a secure vault, ready for use for travel to non-North American countries. Rinty
    I wish our two country's could just get on with life, and we could just focus on the 'bad' people that would circumvent the (any) system anyway, and let all the people who would go through the trouble of crossing the border the right way with a

    "How ya' all doin' today", "Where ya' goin', when ya' comin' back?"

    "Have a NICE Day"

    That should take about 20-30 seconds

    If you're good, and most of these Border People are good, it takes about 10-seconds to know when someone is lying to you, pull over there, someone will be with you shortly!

    JMHO

    Doc
    Russ
    "If you took the time to really get to know me...you'd be wasting your time, because I'm exactly who you think I am"

    (Life comes at you pretty fast "Pay it Forward" - Have no regrets when the end happens)

  7. #7
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    Coming from the EU I was always intrigued by the use of a simple driving licence or birth certificate to cross a national border...it appeared quite lame as a security measure although at that time nobody was bombing this country as they were in the EU at that time. I did love the new convenience of the driving licence routine.

    Over there passports are used commonly and it is no big deal. Change sucks for lots of folks, it is just something new to get used to. Occasionally at the airport the ticket agents are begining to ask if I have a passport for ID even traveling domestic. No big deal. It will mainly affect the folks who have a rap sheet who cannot get a passport.

    I am sure that over time there will be loop holes or fees that will circumvent the passport, like the card that is spoken of.

  8. #8
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Try coming in from Mexico

    No ID at all required. I am glad that we are doing something. To me it is no different then waiting in line at a red light.
    -=Brad

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  9. #9
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
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    Invest your time wisely

    A more productive use of our time is needed. If the Canadian border crossing procedure needs to be fixed, invest 39 cents, a piece or paper and an envelope. Send a letter to the folks we employee in Washington.

    This year is an election year. Ears in the Capitol Building can hear better in even numbered years.

  10. #10
    Stronger, Faster, Tougher iRene's Avatar
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    At a small station in Maine/New Brunswick on MemDay, they asked for photo ID
    upon US return (I volunteered license only) and they went inside and ran it.
    No wait, no traffic behind us-- very brief and pleasant, and the restrooms were IMMACULATE!!!
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  11. #11
    Registered User GPRUDD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAULBACH
    A more productive use of our time is needed. If the Canadian border crossing procedure needs to be fixed, invest 39 cents, a piece or paper and an envelope. Send a letter to the folks we employee in Washington.

    This year is an election year. Ears in the Capitol Building can hear better in even numbered years.
    We invested a little more (time and funds), got passports for the kids. They will probably need them sooner or later anyway. Passports came in about the same time as the preregistration for VT INF. Add to that the reflective tape on the helmets and we're pretty well set. Well, I'll need an oil change, and a new rear tire would be nice. Only 50 more days, I better hurry.
    George Rudd
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  12. #12
    Gopheride
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    Smile Remain Polite

    crossed the US border at North Troy Vt yesterday and the Border guard could'n have been more pleasant.I had to produce photo ID (drivers licence) which is checked on the "computer" and off I went for my ride. I've crossed the US border on average of 25 times each year for the past twenty years and I have never had a problem.
    These people have a job to do and I always remember that I am a guest in the US so I answer their questions,remain polite and remember to have photo ID. If you have nothing to hide,you have nothing to fear.As Canadians we have to remember that crossing the border into the US is a privilege,not a right and vice-versa.

  13. #13
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    Sounds like you had an easier crossing as a guest than I had as a citizen when I came back from a pedestrian trip into Mexico. And no, I don't look Mexican.
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  14. #14
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Veg
    Sounds like you had an easier crossing as a guest than I had as a citizen when I came back from a pedestrian trip into Mexico. And no, I don't look Mexican.
    However you obviously fit the current terrorist profile
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  15. #15
    Registered User jgr451's Avatar
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    Talking Passport security

    Quote Originally Posted by rinty
    I just wish the two administrations could get together and work out a mutually acceptable border pass card. Then we could leave our passports where they belong: in a secure vault, ready for use for travel to non-North American countries. I don't like to carry my passport while bike touring, because it's difficult to keep it secure all of the time, especially if I am camping.
    In Canada, if you lose your passport more than 2 or 3 times, you're cut off.

    Rinty
    For security of passport on the road,I use a properly sized plastic baggie..
    Sometimes,nothing is a real cool hand.

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