Congressional Agreement That Would Delay the Land Border Passport / I.D. Rules Broken.

September 28, 2006

On Monday House and Senate lawmakers agreed to push back the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiation passport rules pertaining to land border crossing by 17 months from January 2008 until June 2009. The Senate-House conference committee, run by Republican appropriations chairmen, agreed to insert the 17-month delay into a homeland security spending bill.

However, House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., intervened at the 11th hour to persuade House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., to strip this delay from the conference report.

As matters stand now, the January 1, 2008, deadline remains in force. This rule would require passports or tamper-resistant identification cards from everyone entering the country by land from Mexico and Canada.

Note: travel rules for individuals entering the U.S. by airplane or cruise ship will have to show their passports to Customs officials as of January 8, 2007, to gain entry.