The border patrol's lenient enforcement of a law requiring U.S. citizens to have passports when re-entering the country at land crossings has heightened the risk that an imposter might get in, according to a government report released Monday.
Under the law, which took effect in June 2009, U.S. citizens must show passports or some other authorized travel documents like a military ID when returning to the United States. Those who don't are supposed to undergo further screening to confirm their citizenship.
But, during a phase-in period that now has stretched over 18 months, very few travelers have been referred to secondary screening, the report from the Homeland Security department's inspector general's office found. That assertion, the study concluded, "increases the risk that someone could enter the U.S. under false pretense of citizenship."
The federal Customs and Border Protection agency, though, contends that the program is working, adding that it believes it is better to encourage compliance gradually then to enforce it right away.FULL STORY