Monday, October 22, 2007

I've got the Passport Blues

Getting my passport has become a year long challenge. First I got my pictures and paper work almost ready and then never got a chance to get my guarantor before summer and my pictures expired and I had to start all over again.
Then I discovered while my guarantor was signing the papers this time that every piece of ID I have except for my birth certificate has my first and middle names reversed because my first name is such a dumb ass name (no I am not telling) that I have never ever in my life used it! That apparently may be enough to get me denied a passport until my ID matches my birth certificate, but the only way to find that out is to stand in a line up for about two hours. All this is thanks to the fact that the US has decided we cannot fly into the US with out a passport, but until January of next year we can drive over the border, park and fly anywhere in the US we want we just can't fly home because they won't let us on the airplane! However, after January 08 we cannot cross the border with out our passports and god help any Americans who happen to end up in our country with our theirs because they will not be allowed home and that has created a nightmare of huge lineups at the passport office!
Today I went down to the passport office, with possibly defective paperwork ,only to find out that I could not find a parking space because there were oh... about 50 - 75 people standing in the pouring rain under soggy umbrellas waiting to do the same thing I was there for!
There is always tomorrow! Maybe... I am beginning to feel like an alien in my own country.
After all I have been traveling across the border between Canada and the US since I was 17 years old. Believe me there are a few video cameras in Harrahs in Reno that have my picture while they were asking me to leave because I was underage that will attest to this!
I have always felt like Americans were my close relations and I, like many Canadians loved to go and spend money there. Not so any more. It is too much trouble.
Despite the fact that I look nothing like any terrorist I have ever seen on TV or the movies and despite the fact that the only legal infraction that I have ever committed in my life was a $25.00 speeding ticket in Florida (Well the only thing I have ever been caught at) the border guards are not friendly. No more smiling or friendly have a nice day from most of them. Instead we get interrogated on a regular basis. This I credit to the nasty rumors that George Bush spread about his brothers and sisters to the north at a time when we, as good relatives should do, were digging deep into our pockets and hearts to send aid in a time of crises for our neighbors and friends.
Now don't get me wrong. I think that we need to have security in both directions. I think that we all need to be looking after our collective asses these days (thanks in part to you know who and now our dear leader Harper is now also getting into the act), but for pity sakes friends if I have not blown anything up, stolen anything, grown weed, sold crack or sold government secrets by this age chances are I am not going to.
Please give me a break! It makes no sense to me that I have to put out over a $100.00 and several hours of my time just to get a piece of official paper that was acquired using the very same ID I have been showing you all these years to cross the border with anyway!


  1. They are not only acting this way towards those who do not live in our country, but they are also acting this way towards U.S. citizens. Our friend who was granted political asylum over 18 years ago just recently got a letter saying his asylum is being rejected. How can you do that? It's a terrible situation our country is currently in. I don't know that the additional precautions and rules hurt anyone except those they're not intended to hurt.

  2. I am so glad you are saying that, because here in the North West most Americans feel this way and feel they have paid a very high price for some US policies and will pay an even higher price when the rest of them are implemented so I do not feel I am alone in my angst.
    I am also glad that you have replied to this post. I was worried I would offend my friends to the south. That was not my intent. I am merely frustrated by what I consider to be nothing more than harassment at the border some times.