Papers? I don’t need no stinking papers

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.

The Arizona Office of Tourism provides this information.  This is the spin of Democrat Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy who sponsored the legislation.

4 Responses to Papers? I don’t need no stinking papers

  1. Another LD11 PC says:

    Did it ever occur to anyone that the WHTI will eventually have a WHTDB on the backend? A western hemisphere travel database containing Americans’ private data? DHS already revealed that they are sharing Real ID data with Canada and Mexico.

    Don’t try to blame this only on Democrats. The REAL ID was a GOP written, sponsored and passed bill in 2005. We are equally guilty for attacking and dismantling our constitution.

    Well, when I say “we” I mean the federal delegation from Washington, DC that represents federal government interests to the states (not vice versa): McCain et al.

  2. Ajo Joe says:

    One of the things that has made us unique is that Americans, unlike citizens of Soviet bloc nations, have never been required to “show their papers” to government authorities.

    Under the guise of border security, we are quickly losing our rights. Seal the damn borders and leave American citizens alone. Canada has every right to request a passport from anyone entering their sovereign nation, and so do we.

    They tried to get Arizonans to use their social security numbers on their driver’s licenses a few years back, but too many of us balked. Now newborns are assigned numbers for ease of tracking. When my doctor’s office asks for my social security number for record keeping, I tell them to assign me a number or I’ll have to go elsewhere. Guess what? They FINALLY assigned me a number.

  3. Another LD11 PC says:

    Here here to Ajo Joe.

    That being said, Ajo, all Arizonans *do* have SSNs on their drivers licenses. I know you think you don’t and I know it probably does not show on the face of it.

    However, in the 21st century, your identification is *NOT* what appears on a physical card. It is what appears on the DATA FILE behind the card. Your SSN is on your DL data file and has been since Oct 1, 1996 (or thereafter depending on what you obtained your DL) both in Arizona and on the national drivers’ registry and, therefore, also on your REAL ID datafile in the REAL ID database at homeland security.

    (And, therefore, under WHTI, in the database both the Mexican and Canadian governments have access to.)

  4. Ajo Joe says:

    Unless you obtained your driver’s license in the past decade, your social security number is NOT part of your file. When they began asking for it, people didn’t realize it was optional, and thought they had to submit to giving up such personal information in order to drive. Not true.

    I never gave my SS#. MVD assigned me a number, and that is what I still use.