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Border & Immigration

Mexico's New Passport Law Takes Effect

A new Mexican passport law for U.S. citizens who go to Mexico changes little for most people who travel to the border region. The new law takes effect Monday.

Mexico's new law requires all U.S. citizens who travel more than 12 miles into Mexico or stay in the country for more than 72 hours to show their U.S. passport or passport card.

However, the spokesman for the Mexican Consulate in San Diego, Alberto Diaz, says in Baja California, people can travel as far south as Ensenada without a U.S. passport.

Diaz says people who stay in the border region longer than 72 hours or travel south of Ensenada for any length of time must apply for a tourist card by showing their U.S. passport.

Diaz says Mexican officials will not check for U.S. passports at land border crossings when people head south into Mexico, "Any obstacle to the flow of people constitutes a problem. This is a region that depends a lot on an efficient crossing."

Most U.S. citizens who go to Mexico already carry a U.S. passport. The U.S. requires people to show their passport when they return regardless of how long they stay.

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