Before 2007 - when new laws began kicking in - Americans could usually travel to and from Canada, Mexico, and other nearby countries, without a passport. Indeed, in 1994 only 10% of Americans even had passports. Today, because of tightening laws and more stringent requirements, a little over 40% of Americans do. When one steps back and looks at this change over time, this seems a little eerily similar to police states (of the type that existed in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union). While it may be increasingly difficult for people today to understand, there used to be a time when requiring documentation was viewed with some suspicion and concerns about civil liberties issues. As countries have grown more diverse, the societies have also become less altruistic and less trusting. Problems have started arising that did not used to be there, and as a result, the iron hand of government has come down more. Countries are also dealing with a flood of immigration, to an extent that was much less of an issue 60 years ago. Now there is a trend towards requiring documentation, because it's much harder to know who's a citizen and who is not these days. I wonder, has anyone stepped back and noticed this? The trend that has been happening over the span of a generation? Are people just going to take this all for granted? If everything commonplace today had suddenly happened in the 1950s, people would have been alarmed. These types of things were viewed as war-time emergency powers. Let me tell you a story. The last time I crossed the U.S. Canadian border (just a few years ago) we had left the U.S. side, went only about 40 meters to the Canadian border station (to deal with some stuff for a few hours) and then turned around and made a U-turn back into the U.S. We did not even go past the Canadian border station to really enter Canada. Well, on the way back to enter the U.S., me and my brother were both pulled out of the car, handcuffed, and detained for several hours. They could not tell us why they had "detained" us, only that our names were on some special list, and they could offer no guarantees that this would not all happen again. It has no become routine for border agents to ask passengers to step out of their car while the car is searched without the passengers being allowed to be present to watch it. This is at the U.S.-Canadian border. We're not even talking about the U.S.-Mexican border. Is none of this a little eerie to people? Yes, the world may have changed since the 1960s, but at what cost to people, to civil liberties?