Jun 18,2007 00:00
WASHINGTON - Homeland security officials are fighting a plan in Congress to delay a requirement that U.S. citizens use passports when returning from neighboring countries.
The requirement, which is already in effect for airline travelers, would require U.S. citizens to present a passport when re-entering by land or sea from Mexico, Canada, Bermuda or the Caribbean.
USA Today reported that Congress wants to implement a delay to alleviate the huge backlog at passport processing centers across the country. But security authorities insist a delay will put U.S. borders at risk.
"There are very bad people in this world who want to find ways to get into our country and kill Americans, and it seems to me that equipping frontline personnel with every tool and authority we can ... would be something that any officials at any level of government or in any party would want to do," said Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke.
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