A new north-south split is brewing in the United States with states on the Mexican border pressing for speedy adoption of the land border-crossing ID card and northern states worried about the impact on Canadian-US commerce. In any case State and Homeland Security officials are pressing forward to have the cards - which would substitute for passports for land crossings into the US - ready by Jan. 1, 2008, Congressional Quarterly reports. That's the date required by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.
But northern states and business groups worry that the card will not be ready by the Jan. 1, 2008, deadline. They also say it could prove an expensive burden for frequent border crossers.
At a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing yesterday, Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., warned, “If we get it wrong, we could see congested and unworkable borders, serious economic consequences, a fundamental change in the lives of countless border residents and a diplomatic nightmare for our closest neighbors.”