By Jan. 8, 2007, people entering or re-entering the U.S. by boat or aircraft from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean will need passports.
And if you are one of the people getting in line for a passport, you
may get an electronic one with a microchip installed to contain your personal
information. The information is to be encrypted, according to the Department of
By Jan. 8, 2008, everyone crossing the border by land will also need to
carry passports, including truckers.
A State Department spokesman told The
Wall Street Journal that people planning a cruise or a flight in
2007 should get a passport this fall and not wait until December.
Another interesting aspect of the passport requirement is that it
applies to children and babies, too.
Some lawmakers in border states are pushing for a delay in
implementation while they plan for the transition.
Since 2004, as part of a security initiative that began after the
terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. has been fingerprinting
foreign-born people entering the country with visas.
That program will continue.
Since 2004, 1,353 people have been busted for entering the U.S. with false documents, according to Homeland Security figures.