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Teenage golf sensation tangles with Soo border officials

Canadian Professional Golf Tour volunteers weren't the only ones to tangle this week with U.S. border officials at the International Bridge.
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MichelleWie

Canadian Professional Golf Tour volunteers weren't the only ones to tangle this week with U.S. border officials at the International Bridge.

Even Michelle Wie, the 13-year-old sensation from Honolulu who's instantly recognized around the world, had a tense encounter at customs after a quick visit to shop in the Ontario Sault.

"I was scared out of my mind," the Associated Press quotes Wie as saying. "They searched our car."

"They finally let us in, but I learned you ought to have a passport."

According to AP sports writer Harry Atkins, the teenager being promoted as the future of women's golf had trouble re-entering Michigan after she decided to visit Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario with her dad B.J. and mom Bo.

"None of them had their passports with them, and Michelle isn't old enough to have a driver's license," Atkins reported.

Wie was playing in Bay Mills on a Golf Channel exemption, but missed the cut on Friday.

The U.S. State Department's latest brochure on travel to Canada, issued in June, cautions that a driver's licence or Social Security card, on their own, are not adequate proof of U.S. citizenship.

Here's what the State Department says:

"To re-enter the United States, returning U.S. citizens need to show the Department of Homeland Security officer proof of identity, such as a driver’s license, and proof of citizenship, such as a passport, birth certificate, or Certificate of Naturalization. A U.S. passport is proof of both citizenship and identity."

However, U.S. immigration law prohibits border officials from demanding passports from American citizens returning from adjacent countries such as Canada or Mexico.

Show this to any U.S. customs officer who says you need a passport

The Department of Homeland Security nonetheless strongly urges U.S. citizens to present passports when returning from Canada, in view of heightened security measures.






David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans six decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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