WASHINGTON - A plan to tighten U.S. borders by requiring passports or tamper-resistant identification cards from everyone entering the country has been delayed.
House and Senate lawmakers agreed to push back the program 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 IDs will be required for Americans and all others entering the U.S.
The border crackdown was wrapped up in a .8 billion spending plan for the Homeland Security Department. The House and Senate each aim to approve it this week, before lawmakers recess for the elections.
Border crossers now need only a picture ID card, such as a driver's license, and a birth certificate to get into the U.S. Neither would be accepted under the proposed rule because they can easily be forged.