LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – The United States may suspend a major post-Sept. 11 security initiative to cope with increasingly angry complaints from Americans whose summer vacations are threatened by new passport rules, CP reports.
A proposal under consideration would temporarily waive a requirement that U.S. passports be used for air travel to and from Canada and Mexico, provided the traveller can prove he or she has applied for a passport, officials said Thursday.
The proposed six-month suspension in the rules is aimed at clearing a massive backlog of passport applications at the State Department that has slowed processing to a crawl, they said.
The proposal applies only to Americans, a U.S. official said. Canadian air travellers entering the United States will still need passports.
But it would be a balm to the Canadian tourism industry and others who rely on a steady stream of American visitors and are already losing money due to confusion about the new security rules.
The plan has run into opposition from the Homeland Security Department, which controls U.S. border points and fears the move could make it easier for terrorists or other undesirables to enter the country, the officials said.