Well, I was reminded of the most odd thing from james_bond_rulez saying:
Rather than pull that topic off-topic, I'll just start a new one. (I'm trying to avoid work, can you tell?) Now, apparently, the US customs people want Canadians to have passports with a whole ton of biometric information, or else we won't get to play in their little country. Apologies for the long article, but I couldn't find a link.yeah i just heard a canadian gay couple was denied access at the US boarder because they filled "family" in some form and the custom officer got pissed or something or simply was dissing them.
There's another article lying around here somewhere dealing with an Ontario farm that straddles the border, and more on that biometric issue, but I can't seem to find it right now. Perhaps some of those who're over Ontario way (and frequent this area of the forum) know what I'm talking about.The days of quick and easy documentation-free visits to the United States may be drawing to a close.
The Bush administration wants all Canadians travelling to the United States to carry a passport that will eventually include biometric markers such as iris scans as well as digital photos.
US Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge will discuss the proposal with Deputy Prime Minister John Manley when they meet next month, US officials say. The meeting is tenatively scheduled for Oct. 3 in Toronto.
The proposal calls for passports issued after next year to be quickly scanned by US border authorities that would read biometric markers to confirm a traveller's identity, a State Department offical said.
Canadians currently driving through the US border points for a day of shopping or a few days of sight-seeing are often just asked a few questions and quickly waved through without being asked to produce documentation.
Canadian business travellers and tourists arriving at US airports can enter the country with a simple photo identity card such as a driver's license. That kind of ease of flow of people, goods and services between the two countries is thought to be responsible for the $1.5 billion a day in business that occurs across the border.
But the Sept. 11 airliner assults led to the passing of congressional legislation aimed at tracking every tourist, student and business traveller entering the United States as part of the effort to tighten border security.
The US Congress called for foreign visitors arriving in the United States by air and sea will be tracked by a new system that verifies their identities through fingerprints or newer technologies such as iris scans or digital photos by 2005.
Canada had asked for an exemption to the legistlation, but the Bush administration refused to grant Canadians any special bypass.
"How do you prove you're a Canadian if you don't have any documentation?" asked one State Department official with knowledge of the talks between Manley and Ridge.
Mike Scandiffio, a spokesman for Manley, said the Deputy Prime Minister and Ridge are working towards a meeting next month to discuss the issue of documentation requirements for Canadians entering the United States, but he could not confirm any other details.
Manley has been warning Canadians for about a year that they will just have to accept more imposing scrutiny by US authorities when they cross the border into the United States.
There is also a fear that if no border plan is agreed to by both countries, unforseen events such as a future terrorist attack could provoke a backlash in the fickle US Congress that would lead to harsher measures imposed on Canadian travellers.