Beginning Tuesday, Americans traveling into the US from Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean must have passports. Congress passed this new rule in 2004 in an effort to make the country safer. The problem is, only one quarter of Americans have passports.
So, what will be the impact of this? The short term effect will be Americans lined up at our borders, waiting for their paperwork to get through already overloaded government agencies. The medium term effect will be Americans discovering how affordable and relaxed life is in our neighboring countries. The long-term effect is best of all.
About 20 million Americans travel internationally each year. If some portion of them can't get back into the country, think about how much that will lessen traffic congestion. Abandoned houses will go onto the market, helping to make housing more affordable. Key employees will be lost and the demand for replacement workers will drive up wages. I would go on, but the unintended benefits of making this a safer country are beyond my ability to calculate. And here all this time I thought that congress didn't really care about quality of life issues.