Retrasarán emisión de tarjeta de identidad en frontera EE.UU.-Canadá

GIMLI, MAN., OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper said yesterday he thinks the requirement to have a passport or other secure identification document to cross the border will be delayed because of American concerns about how to implement the plan.
«I think, frankly, the American administration is very open to options because I think, as the deadline approaches, they’re increasingly having some concerns about how Americans themselves are going to adapt to this,» Mr. Harper said in an interview with The Globe and Mail/CTV News.
Mr. Harper said the legislative process in the United States may also be causing delays.
The U.S. Senate recently passed an amendment to an immigration bill that would delay by 17 months, to June 1, 2009, the requirement that people crossing the U.S. border from Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico hold passports or specially designed border-crossing cards. That bill still must be reconciled with a House of Representatives immigration bill that is silent on the issue.
«We will be ready,» Mr. Harper said. «The Americans may not be ready, which is one of the reasons that, in lobbying coming from us and coming from other levels of government and businesses in Canada . . . , Americans themselves eventually come to the conclusion that this is an initiative that should be delayed.»
The passport issue was one of the main topics of discussion yesterday at a meeting in Gimli of western and territorial premiers. The premiers called on the federal government to address more aggressively the economic fallout from the looming passport crackdown and urged Mr. Harper to raise the matter with U.S. President George W. Bush when they meet in Washington on July 6.
The premiers will also have an opportunity to personally appeal to Mr. Harper today, when he joins them for a dinner in Gimli.
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