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October 26, 2007

Immigration law applies to everyone

For several years I have been saying that immigration law applies to everyone. Here is an article in the New York Times describing this shift. By By Julia Preston, published: October 21, 2007

Tighter Border Delays Re-entry by U.S. Citizens

"EL PASO — United States border agents have stepped up scrutiny of Americans returning home from Mexico, slowing commerce and creating delays at border crossings not seen since the months after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The increased enforcement is in part a dress rehearsal for new rules, scheduled to take effect in January, that will require Americans to show a passport or other proof of citizenship to enter the United States. The requirements were approved by Congress as part of antiterrorism legislation in 2004.

Border officials said agents along the southern border were asking more returning United States citizens to show a photo identity document. At the same time, agents are increasing the frequency of what they call queries, where they check a traveler’s information against law enforcement, immigration and antiterror databases.

The new policy is a big shift after decades when Americans arrived at land border crossings, declared they were citizens and were waved on through. Since the authorities began ramping up enforcement in August, wait times at border stations in Texas have often stretched to two hours or more, discouraging visitors and shoppers and upsetting local business.

The delays could remain a fact of life across the southern border for the next few years, border officials said, at least until new security technology and expanded entry stations are installed and until Americans get used to being checked and questioned like foreigners. Last year 234 million travelers entered the United States through land border crossings from Mexico...".


Posted by VisaLawyer at October 26, 2007 07:01 AM


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