Editorial -- Despite new bills, passport application is required
The United States Senate and House of Representatives each have passed legislation to roll back the passport requirements for flying to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda, but no action is scheduled yet to resolve the differences in the tw...
The United States Senate and House of Representatives each have passed legislation to roll back the passport requirements for flying to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda, but no action is scheduled yet to resolve the differences in the two bills.
That means any American resident flying to these locations still needs to apply for a passport and have proof of that application with them when flying between now and Sept. 30 of this year.
This catastrophe with passports is the result of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative that requires the documents. The Department of Homeland Security, however, which oversees the passport process, remains totally unprepared to handle the onslaught of applications resulting from the security legislation.
Even though congressional reps have ample evidence of the poor system that's in place, the Department of Homeland Security stubbornly is sticking to the toughest set of requirements possible. This falls in line with the approach of ignoring personal rights when dealing with security matters that's been inherent in the ongoing Bush Administration.
So no, you cannot travel without having to spend nearly $100 per person to apply for a passport if you don't have one. You must apply for the passport and must show proof of that application before traveling until Sept. 30.
What happens on or after Sept. 30 also remains an unknown. Anyone who currently has travel plans that require leaving the U.S. to one of the above-mentioned destinations on Sept. 30 is waiting in a twilight zone for the date to arrive.
Which is why we implore Congress to get serious and get the job done and remedy the differences in the two passport bills that have been passed so American citizens don't get caught in yet a bigger nightmare on or after Sept. 30.