Starting January 23, new passport rules will change the face of travel.
On Tuesday, all air travelers entering the United States will be required to have a passport — including American citizens returning from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Are you confused or irritated by the new regulations? Do you think the regulations are necessary? Are you bummed about having to spend the cash for a passport?
We asked you, our readers, to share your thoughts. Below are some of your responses.
It's just another government restriction on the American citizen's right to travel, as well as the constitutional rights to enter and leave the U.S. Add this to the "backdoor" national ID method espoused by the government in the name of "security" and you have a very chilling combination."
When you leave this country you leave your "constitutional rights" at the border. When you arrive back home you must be examined by a customs official at the border before you are allowed to re-enter and reclaim your rights.
Major international airports are considered extended borders. A passport is not a national ID. You don't have to carry it around in the U.S. and any proposed law to make it so would be rejected by the people and the courts. The vast majority of people don't want to leave the U.S. anyway so I doubt they will get a passport. ...
Love it or go away!
The new passport regulations are very simple, really. At the dawn of the early 21st century there is only one exception to the rule that true Americans have no need to leave our great nation. Specifically, all our great warriors have plenty of reasons to leave our great nation, and all the reasons involve destroying and killing our enemies.
Our soldiers do not need passports, because they wear helmets which are clearly labeled. This is not the case with everyone else, so the rule truly is very simple!
If you have a clearly labeled helmet and are traveling to destroy and kill our enemies, then (a) have a great and successful trip and (b) come and go as you desire. Otherwise, if you leave without a passport, then have fun in your new country. Out of sight, out of mind! We were glad for you to join us while you were here, but since you decided to leave, well ... "Hasta la vista, baby!"
If you think it is so wonderful someplace else, then stay there. Save us the trouble of kicking you out!
This is America! Love it or go away! ...
Just a travel tax
This is yet another way for the government to force us to pay for a hidden tax. This is a travel tax and it's ridiculous! If people want to get in and out of this country with stolen passports it seems as if they have no problem doing so but the people who live here will now have to pay the government for the right we have always had to visit certain countries ...
Americans are paranoid
I just finished reading Rob Lovitt's travel article ("Passport rules get more confusing") and I'm astounded at how stupid and paranoid my fellow Americans have become. Quit your whining and get a freakin passport if you want to travel outside the U.S! DUH! If you were so worried about the government tracking your information you should have gotten off your duff and got one sooner (before RFID). I don't have any particular trust in our government either, but I would rather everyone show some sort of ID at our borders ... it sounds as though some of you want to get through with a note from your mommy ... that would make me uncomfortable to say the least. What makes you think that the government even gives a squat where you go?? Besides, when you return to the U.S. the only thing they actually know is the place you entered from ... period ... end of story! ...
What it is ... and isn't
A couple thoughts. Contrary to what many people would like you to believe, the new RFID Passports are of the "passive" variety. Meaning, if you close the book, it would take a tremendous amount of energy to read it. It was designed that way so you'd have to consciously open and present it in order for it to be read. Wonder what information is in it? Just read the inside cover, that's about it, nothing more, nothing less. The government lawyers insisted it be that way. Is the data encrypted? No, but it is digitally signed by the Dept. of State so we can tell whether the electronic data's been manipulated.
Any electrical engineering student can confirm this if you don't believe me and the specifications are available on the Web for free from ICAO so just do a Google search. Are we Americans the only ones doing this? Nope, the U.K., Australia, Germany and the Dutch will be releasing their new books as well, we're just one of the first to produce them in quantity. Ultimately though, having a passport does not prevent a person from committing a crime, nothing does, but it is probably the most fraud deterrent document out there and I'd rather have border agents trained to recognize one document type rather than hundreds of birth certificates and driver's licenses. ...
Are you really you?
A passport is the only document that proves who you are. Why would you leave our country without it? Do you have any idea how risky that is? Especially MEXICO, holy cow. They can't even produce water that you can drink without getting potentially life threatening diarrhea, much less laws that resemble anything of justice. ...
A travel requirement that's way overdue
I was absolutely thrilled when I turned 25, got my first passport and traveled to Europe for the first time. Since then, I've traveled overseas multiple times, renewed my passport and now my new one is filled with stamps. This for me is a matter of great pride, and I love looking though it at all of the places that I've gotten to see.
It is sad that less than ¼ of Americans have a passport, which means that less then a quarter of our citizens have never traveled outside of the U.S., or even expressed the desire to do so. It is not an ordeal to get a passport, and not a huge expense. I figure that my passport has cost me around $10 per trip that I have taken since I got it. Pretty small change for a piece of identification that if I got into trouble overseas, would be my lifeline back to the U.S. I have always taken it when I travel since it’s the single piece of ID that is accepted without question. I even take it when I travel domestically as it’s the best ID when going through airport security.
Personally, I think that it’s long past time to require passports to travel out of the U.S., even to Canada and Mexico. ...
Conspiracy theorists beware
You conspiracy theorists crack me up! What are you all so hysterically afraid of? What possible purpose would it serve our government to prevent or monitor travel to the ridiculous extent you're all suggesting? 9/11 happened under their noses, they can't find bin Laden, and our own Defense Department is unwittingly selling and B1 spare parts to Iran and China. ...
A security blanket?
The biggest fallacy is that Passports are for security. This is just another worthless, but highly visible, attempt by a bunch of mindless bureaucrats to fool us into believing this will help make us safer. With both borders an open pathway, millions of containers entering ports unexamined, and airline cargo uninspected, those fruitcakes in Homeland Security decide that having a passport to return from St. Bart’s will stop the next terrorist attack. ...
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