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Immigration Law

American Citizens Without Passports at Border May Face Fines

Lorena Figueroa, El Paso Times, Apr. 22, 2016 - "U.S. citizens returning to the country without a passport could soon face fines.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection is proposing to establish a non-compliant traveler fee to cover the costs of processing the identities of U.S. citizens who cross at the ports of entry without a passport or without a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-approved document.  The WHTI requires all travelers to show a valid passport or other approved documents when traveling to the United States from countries within the Western Hemisphere, including Canada and México.  Other documents include a Passport Card, and Enhanced Driver’s License, or a Trusted Traveler Program card, which includes a Sentri card.  Currently, U.S. citizens who lack WHTI-compliant documents are not denied entry into the United States.  However, CBP is now considering a fine. On April 14 the agency sent the proposed rule change to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the White House. The rule, which is scheduled to be considered next month, does not set the non-compliant traveler fee."