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The announcement that the U.S. government will require, by 2008, all people entering the United States to have a passport is absurd. I have lived on the U.S.-Canadian border almost my entire life and crossing the border has always been a pleasurable yet serious event. The Border Patrol has always been professional, while stern and demanding when asking for information.

This requirement to carry a passport is yet another example of deception by our government. It is side-stepping its responsibility and commitment to dedicate the proper amount of money and manpower for a high-quality Homeland Security program.

The burden is again being placed on the law-abiding citizen to shell out additional money, time and energy to cross our border. It seems al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden would be very happy with this requirement because it is their goal to make life for all Americans as miserable and controlled as possible.

With the advent of computers comes the ability to create almost anything. What's to stop al-Qaida from making perfect passports? I believe that both governments should increase their budgets for security, equipment and employment of more people on our borders.

Chuck DiMaria

East Amherst