Recently a few threads here delt with immigration/passport/border crossing issues. Here is the latest. Most of this is not "news" but the whole story may not be fully understood. Excerpts of the article below.
The whole Federal Register filing can be seen at :
The border information system will link to a new database, the Non-Federal Entity Data System, which is being set up to hold personal information about all drivers in a state's database. States that do not agree to allow customs to have such large amounts of information may allow the agency to query their databases in real time for information on a traveler.
Because of privacy concerns, Washington state earlier this year opted for the queries-only approach. The Canadian government made the same decision. "There was absolutely no way they should have the entire database," said Ann Cavoukian, Ontario's privacy commissioner, who learned about the Canadian government's decision in April.
The border crossing information identified below may be collected in a number of different ways.
For example, information may be collected:
(1) From the travel documents presented by the individual at CBP Ports of Entry, such as foreign passports, where no advance notice of the border crossing has been provided to CBP;
(2) from carriers who submit information in advance of travel, through the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) (See DHS/CBP-005, August 23, 2007, 72 FR 48346);
(3) from a DHS system that validates a Trusted Traveler Program card, I-551 Permanent Resident Card, or immigration document;
(4) from non-federal governmental authorities that have issued valid travel documents approved by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, such as an Enhanced Driver's License (EDL);
or (5) from another Federal Agency that has issued a valid travel document, such as Department of State Visa, Passport including Passport Card, or Border Crossing Card data.
When a traveler is admitted or paroled into the U.S., a traveler's biographical information, photograph, where available, and crossing details (time and location) will be maintained in accordance with this BCI system of records.
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I don't have any problem with this, either. One thing that still amazes me when traveling overseas is that we don't need to clear immigration on the way out of US airports. Everywhere else I travel I seem to need to clear immigration on way out to verify that I am out of the country. I know it is in the plans to fix this loophole but it will probably be a while. I think it is important to know who is in and who is out of the country, both citizens and visitors.
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Our government would never misuse such information nor use it to track or impede the movement of its own citizens.
If you haven't done anything wrong you don't have anything to worry about.
This scares the hell out of me.
Okay, Mike, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WRONG???
Wouldn't you like you know????
Each of these small efforts to ensure our security, in themselves are easy to justify, however when put all together, REAL ID, RF tags in DL and passports, national tracking of citizen movements, etc. take us close to Big Brother and a loss of Freedom. It isn't freedom when you have to ask permission to travel, leave the country, or are constantly monitored.
While you were just ribbing me, many people automatically think that "anyone" who objects to any of these initiatives has something to hide. That in itself is the most unnerving part.
Giving up freedom under the pretense of security is something I am EXTREMELY reluctant to do. People such as Ben Franklin didn't think it was a good idea and neither do I.
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Oh brother, with the number of times we have crossed the border between the US and Canada, they probably have file a foot thick on us... and we're some of the most boring people I know...the jokes on them. It probably looks really suspicious because we cross in to Canada on the Blue Water Bridge, but we often drive down to the Indian Reservation and cross back on the ferry at Sombra or at Walpole Island to return because the lines are sometime hours long at the bridge when we're ready to come back home. D/H's parent live in Canada and his Mom is not generally well enough to travel down to see us anymore as she cannot tolerate sitting in cars that long, so we've increased our visits up there. I am sure there are people doing bad things, but how do they find the needle in that haystack... sounds like a waste of money and time that does nothing other than invade our privacy.
Besides our borders are so porous anyway. Where d/h's parent's live it is quite common for Canadian's to take their boats to the other side of the river to enjoy a nice dinner in the U.S. Do you think many of them are monitored or detected? I doubt it. Even if they radio in their plans to the authorities, who is accounting for every person on board that they actually return to Canada. I really want to be supportive of homeland security, but geez louise I really don't understand the purpose of this exercise. Who do they think they are going to catch with the huge volume of data that will stockpiled?