Mexicans living in US getting new ‘tamper-proof’ passports at consulates

National and World News

Electronic features should reassure U.S. authorities document is genuine, Mexican consul says

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Mexican consulates are issuing their citizens a new electronic passport that’s supposed to be tamperproof.

The passport has been available in El Paso since November 4, and Mexican Consul General Mauricio Ibarra Ponce de Leon says its security features make it a reliable identity document for Mexicans in living in the United States.

“This is a new passport that has more than 50 security measures. It includes a chip with biographical and biometric information that makes the passport difficult to forge,” Ibarra said.

Thousands of people come across El Paso’s international bridges from Mexico every day for business, shopping, tourism, or family reasons. In addition, thousands more have been living in the U.S. for many years and their Mexican passport might be the only identity document they have should they request services or run into a traffic stop.

“This is a passport that is going to be recognized all over the world, giving foreign government assurances” that it is genuine, and that the holder can be easily identified, Ibarra said.

The consul said the security features are interlinked. So, if someone wants to change the holder’s name or photograph, for instance, the document no longer will scan.

Children’s passports also are changing, he said. Now, the photos and biographical information of the parents will appear on the minor’s passport to alert authorities whenever the child is traveling with someone other than his parents or legal guardian.

Ibarra said electronic passports will be issued as old, conventional passports expire. “There is no need to come to the consulate and get the new electronic document if your passport is still valid,” he said.

The electronic passport costs the same as the old one: $83 for a three-year document, $116 for one valid for five years and $165 for the 10-year version.

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