Thursday, 25 April 2013
Bad DHS idea of the day: Fees for crossing the USA-Canada land border
As part of its latest budget request, the US Department of Homeland Security has asked Congress to fund a study of the "feasibility" of charging "user fees" for the cost of "security screening" for people crossing the land border between the USA and Canada.
As is often the case with issues related to USA-Canada relations, the DHS proposal was barely deemed newsworthy in most of the USA, but generated front-page stories and instant outrage from Vancouver to Toronto and throughout Canada.
Since this is a budgetary proposal, it needs approval from the US Congress. Tell your Representative and Senators that people who travel to and from Canada aren't "using a service". We are exercising our right to travel, to leave our country, and to return. We shouldn't have to pay fees for required travel documents or for being searched and interrogated by agents of either country's government.
Posted by Edward on Thursday, 25 April 2013, 06:00 ( 6:00 AM)
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I am appalled at the possibility for a fee to cross the Canadian border to or from the US. As an Amercian citizen I am exercising my right to travel, to leave my country and return without having to pay fees for that right. Already, though I am a 56 year old suburban housewife, I have had my car searched and have been interrogated by the border guards numerous times (my in-laws are Canadian, so I cross often) and I certainly do not wish to pay for that privilege.
If you're a US citizen, refuse to pay the fee. They can't deny you entry into your own country.
The sad thing is that the kind of people who think up such horrors can justify it in their own minds. The even sadder thing is that so many people will go along with it. Once this kind of thing starts there's no end to it. Oppose it now or suffer from it forever.
Why aren't they proposing this for the U.S.-Mexican border? Then they could charge illegal immigrants with tax evasion!
"If you're a US citizen, refuse to pay the fee. They can't deny you entry into your own country."
Hasn't this already happened? Not for non-payment, but isn't there another U.S. citizen who was denied entry for some reason? (I can't remember the details...)
Shades of Charlie and the MTA!
The hilarious thing about this idea is that the land border between Canada and the US is quite large, with many crossing points. People who live along the border take advantage to leverage lower gas prices on one side or the other; some drive across a portion of one country or another just to shorten a trip (eg, to get from Ithaca to Chicago we used to drive across southern Ontario). It seems to me this sort of plan would simply be inviting workarounds, making the whole border more porous.
If what they're after is saving money they could, I don't know, go back to the system where you didn't need a passport.