New border requirements kick in today

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WINDSOR, Ont. — Oral declarations of citizenship are no longer adequate at the Canada/US border as of today, but the new rules are not likely to disrupt traffic flow.

A senior US official told the Associated Press the rule would not be strictly enforced at first. Under the new rules, people will have to present proof of citizenship such as a passport or birth certificate. Until now, it was only necessary to orally declare your citizenship. For now, nobody is expected to be turned away if they’re unable to present the appropriate ID.

Border officers are handing out pamphlets explaining the new requirements and are educating people about the changes rather than denying them entry.

“The first couple of days, weeks maybe, could add a few seconds to the inspection process. But once people become aware of these requirements, and we’re getting the word out to them … those minor delays should disappear,” Ron Smith, a spokesman for US Customs and Border Protection, told the Associated Press.

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