Saturday, January 20, 2007

Passports and Mexico

The USA is initiating a requirement that if you fly in and out of the country, you must have a passport. Somehow this is suppose to reduce the chance that a terrorist can get into the USA.

My immediate thought about this requirement is that the government just raised the cost for family and friends to come see us. $100 per person cost increase unless they already have a passport. Well, all of the family doesn't have passports, especially the grandchildren but now they will have to get one even to come just one time in the next 10 years. I think we need to be sure that the sons have passports just in case there was an emergency with one or both of us here in Mexico so that one of them could come to help us quickly and not have to wait for several days even for an expedited passport (if the government still allows the expedited process).

This is how it affects us on a personal level but this new passport regulation will be a blow to the Mexican tourist industry. Lots of people who never traveled other places around the globe traveled to Mexico. We have been able to visit our neighbor to the South with a birth certificate and photo ID but not any more. It is estimated that 330,000 of those US citizens will decide not to get passports to be able to come to Mexico. That will reduce tourist spending in Mexico by 2.7 billion dollars and it will eliminate 95,000 jobs in the tourist industry.

Do you feel safer now that American citizens need a passport to go to Mexico and then return to the USA?


Paul said...

I think the idea that requiring passports for travel to Mexico will help fight terrorism is absurd. The government doesn't actually have any idea how to stop terrorists, so they are clutching at straws. I think the best idea would be to stop behaving in ways that make the whole world hate us.


San Miguel Photos said...

Billie, what is even more absurd, is that next year everyone crossing the border with Canada and Mexico will require passports. Now my father in law (who is 85) canoes from Northern Minnesota into Canada all summer long. He is now going to have to carry a passport just in case, and there is not even any immigration agents on these passageways to check the validity of the passports. Absolutely crazy.

Heather said...

I don't think it makes much sense either, however, DD and I will be getting our passports this year. DH already has one from when he went to China last year. We still are looking forward to coming to San Miguel someday, but we've agreed to do Disney this year. DD is six years old right now and she has yet to go to Disney. We want to do it while the extreme excitement is still there. We also like to go to Canada and we'll need passports for that as well.