The New York Times
December 22, 2010


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HOUSTON — A year and a half after the federal government strengthened rules on the documents needed to enter the country, millions of people are still being allowed to enter without passports or other hard-to-forge identification cards, a government audit has found.

The inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security estimated this week that about 3.6 million people a year were still passing through customs without the required documents, and that about half of those were coming through the border crossings in Texas.

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The audit noted that overall compliance with the law was relatively high; about 96 percent of travelers entering the country’s 39 land ports of entry along the Mexican and Canadian borders now follow the new rules, presenting, for instance, a passport, a border-crossing card or a birth certificate.

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