Due to issues of national security, border patrol agents have become much more vigilant in checking passports and other identification. Previously, United States citizens were not required to utilize a passport to gain reentry into the country from certain locations. Border entry laws allowed Americans to reenter the country from Canada and Mexico without a passport.
Border entry had been allowed for Americans, by simply showing a valid United States Drivers license and other acceptable identification. However, border entry can no longer be utilized anywhere in the United States, unless the individual is carrying a valid passport.
Beginning in January 23, 2007, border entry laws became more stringent for both United States citizens and non citizens. Due to the new regulations, there was a large backup in passport applications. For several months, until the passport agencies were able to catch up, citizens were allowed to gain border entry as long as they had a receipt that they applied for a passport.
Border entry laws were meant to be more strict, but also to be accommodating for allowing Americans to travel freely. Border entry laws also allow individuals to utilize a special passport card which allows border entry from specific locals. Border entry laws allow citizens to utilizing the passport card, rather than a full passport, but only when crossing specific borders, such as Mexico.
Border entry laws are in place to prevent people from illegally crossing the United States border. The increased border security measures are in place to protect National security and to contribute to International security. The United States, and other countries, have begun to enact stricter border entry laws to prevent abuse of the system and to prevent falsified documents from being utilized.
Every country also works to prevent people from entering the country and staying longer than they are legally allowed, even when they have a valid Visa and passport. While border entry may have been legal, some people chose to stay past their allowable duration. Passports allow border entry laws to be effective due to the use of information systems that track when individuals enter or leave the country.
Border entry in any country, usually requires a valid passport. While people can freely cross many borders in the European Union, that is not the case in many places. The United States will not allow individuals to enter the country in the absence of a valid passport, even if they are United Sates citizens.