"Papers please," is what the SS would say in 1940s Germany. In 2008, shortsighted bureaucrats will require Americans to have passports to re-enter the United States from Canada and Mexico in the name of safety.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice should realize this will put us at more risk. Instead of encouraging maniacal marauders to take the easier route through monitored borders, where they can be detained or tracked, anyone with subversive plans will now use alternate routes. They will have total freedom while we will be subject to more constraints in this "free" country.
We will be subject to longer, already congested lines, more scrutiny and more pollution and health problems from idling cars and trucks. Prohibitive passport fees -- about $440 for a family of five -- would end leisure visits.
Our border is too large to protect. We could emulate Berlin of post-World War II and spend trillions on a wall, but that would do little to prevent those with strong certitude from circumventing it.
The terrorists wanted to change the way our society lives and we are giving them that on the proverbial silver platter. They win!
Bernard S. Misiura Jr.
Town of Tonawanda