A plan to tighten US borders by requiring passports or tamper-resistant identification cards from everyone entering the country by land from Mexico and Canada has been delayed.
House and Senate lawmakers agreed to push back the program by 17 months, saying they want to make sure new ID cards being developed by the Bush administration will better secure borders against terrorists without slowing legitimate travelers from Canada and Mexico. The new ID's will be required for Americans and all others entering the US.
The delay would only apply to travelers entering the US over land borders from Canada and Mexico. It would not affect travel rules for people coming into the country by airplane or boat, who will have to show their passports to Customs officials as of Jan. 8, 2007, to gain entry.
The border crackdown was wrapped up in an overall $34.8 billion (â‚¬27.4 billion) spending plan for the Homeland Security Department. The House and Senate each aim to approve it later this week, before lawmakers recess for the elections.