Travelling to and from Mexico may start costing more than just gas money.
The Department of Homeland Security could start charging a fee to cross the U.S. borders in both Mexico and Canada, a report from FoxNews Latino said.
According to the report, those walking and driving across would pay the fee to officials at the border, while those crossing by sea or air would see an additional $7 to $9 fee.
However, opponents of the proposal claim the new fees will hurt both travel and the economy.
The fees, which would raise $350 million in revenue, would be used by DHS for making improvements along the border, new technology, as well as add 3,000 Customs and Border Patrol officers.
Ken Oplinger, CEO of the Bellingham and Whatcom Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the state of Washington, said the fee would cause people to stop crossing the border altogether. The time it takes to collect fees would also cause traffic jams for those who do choose to cross, he added.
Critics say the U.S. should be making travel across the border “easier, not harder”, the report said.
Despite that, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said the financial reward is too great to ignore.
“Processing the more than 350 million travelers annually provides nearly $150 billion in economic stimulus, yet the fees that support these operations have not been adjusted in many cases for more than a decade,” she said.
(Photo by dmealiffe via Flickr)
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