Homeland security rules leave border tribes in limbo

Beginning January 31, 2008, every U.S. citizen will be required to show a government ID and proof of citizenship to cross into Canada and Mexico by land or sea.

The rules have dozens of tribes worried about their ability to cross the border for ceremonies, employment, health care and other purposes. Up until now, tribal members have been able to show their membership cards but those will no longer be sufficient.

"We were all born at home with a midwife, and nobody at the time recorded our births," Tohono O'odham elder Ofelia Rivas, 51, tells Reuters. "I have no birth certificate so how am I supposed to get a passport?"

Some tribes are in talks with the Department of Homeland Security over the use of enrollment cards. Currently, only the Kickapoo Tribe can use membership cards due to a special act of Congress.

Get the Story:
New travel rules leave Native Americans in limbo (Reuters 12/11)

$rl U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative - http://www.dhs.gov/xtrvlsec/crossingborders/whtibasics.shtm

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