This classic clip from the 1948 Humphrey Bogart film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre takes on new meaning with news of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announcement that June 1, will be the start-up day for the United States to fully implement the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. In short, the initiative requires everyone entering the country to have specialized documents that prove who they are and where they’re from.
The Department of Homeland Security had intended to require the system be in place on June 1, 2008, but delayed the implementation after howls of complaints from officials in border states, according to a report in USA Today.
In the last year, CBP installed new computer systems and scanners at most of Vermont’s border crossings that can read chips in enhanced driver’s licenses — now being issued by more states and provinces.
“At the same time it’s also given the public a chance to get accustomed to having to carry certain documents,” said James McMillan, the CBP port director for Highgate Springs, Vermont, the largest border crossing with Quebec.