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Fronteras: Cross-Border Travel Means Passports, Passport Cards, Border Crossing Cards

Texans in border communities used to cross back and forth freely with little to no documentation

Much has changed since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The 9/11 Commission in 2004 determined the border crossing rules were too lax, and Congress passed the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which required U.S. border crossers to possess passports or passport cards to cross the international ports of entry. Mexican travelers are required to carry a Border Crossing Card.

The complexities of international travel can be mind-twisting to someone who is new to it.

Credit Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio
Andrés Rodriguez, representative of the Office of Passport Services, U.S. State Department.

Andrés Rodriguez is a representative of the U.S. State Department’s Office of Passport Services. He says the proper documentation will ensure you’ll be processed more efficiently.

Rodriguez also encourages travelers to stay updated with travel warnings from the State Department. 

The Mexican state of Tamaulipas, which lies across the border from Laredo, McAllen    and Brownsville, has the same Level 4 travel warning as Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and North Korea

For more information on the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, visit step.state.gov.

And for more details on what’s required to apply for a passport, visit travel.state.gov.

Norma Martinez can be reached by email at norma@tpr.org, and on Twitter @NormDog1.

Lauren Terrazas can be reached by email at lauren@tpr.org, and on Twitter @terrazas_lauren.

Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1