Another Chapter in the Passport Saga

The Department of Homeland Security has long wanted every person passing across the US/Canadian border present a passport (or a drivers' license plus birth certificate or naturalization papers).  Since passports these documents are expensive or a hassle, Western New York's congressional delegation has consistently opposed that measure.  DHS keeps announcing deadlines far in the future, and our delegation continues to get those deadlines pushed back.  The last compromise pushed the "absolute, final date" back to June, 2009, a date that few took seriously.

Since the DHS was losing at the "final deadline" game,  they're trying a new tactic:  fuck-you arrogance. Yesterday, the DHS announced that they're going to require passports or two forms of id at the border starting January 31, and Director Michael Chertoff told all involved that "It's time to grow up."  Cue hyperventilation on the part of Randy Kuhl and every other resident of the 29th who was planning to travel to Canada without a passport.

I can only imagine that Chertoff's arrogance will end up with a win-win for DHS and our local Congressman. Our delegation will swoop in to correct Chertoff's injustice, thus protecting us from the evil and unfeeling DHS bureaucracy, by getting him to agree to a later deadline. In the short run, Chertoff will get slapped down, but in the end he'll get passports at the border.   

The only losers in this play are those of us who don't want to pay $70, or go through the hassle of digging up a birth certificate, to prove our identity at the border.

Update:  The original post indicated that only a passport will be accepted.  A drivers' license plus birth certificate or naturalization papers will also be allowed.