It appears that a Mexican law requiring citizens of the United States to carry passports when crossing into Tijuana will go into effect beginning March of this year.
In an article published in Frontera, Mario Escobedo Carignan, president of Canaco (a Tijuana business association), said that the measure put forth by the Instituto Nacional de Migración will have a negative effect on U.S./Mexico business relations and will put the squeeze on TJ’s already battered economy.
The business leader said that the policy does not take into account the opinions of private business interests and other sectors of the community. He was most unhappy with the notion that the federation was making its decisions unilaterally, then imposing them on Tijuana’s business community. He also mentioned that there wasn’t an “infrastructure” to process all the passports coming into Tijuana and that crossings into Mexico would add to the waits recently created by the SIAVE vehicle identification recording devices.
Additionally, Escobedo was dubious about the effects of having the military check bags and boxes at the various border crossings, a policy that has been in effect for several months.
In short, it appears that the new policy will require U.S. passports to get into Mexico, just as the U.S. requires a passport to return to the U.S. A passport book now costs new applicants about 100 dollars. Currently, although a U.S. citizen must carry identification in TJ, one does not need a U.S. passport to enter; state-issued driver’s licenses have long served as ID in TJ.