Vt. politicians oppose border crossing fee

A Department of Homeland Security proposal to study charging a fee for people entering the United States by land from Canada and Mexico is being criticized by members of Congress from Vermont and upstate New York. Vermont’s two US senators, Representative Peter Welch of Vermont, and Representative Bill Owens of New York all say charging a fee to people entering the country by land would hinder commerce and the long-established practice of crossing easily. The department said the study is needed because there is a disparity between fees collected from people entering the country by land, sea, and air. The proposal would have Homeland Security study the possibility of charging fees for people entering the country by land, but it did not suggest an amount to charge.