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New U.S. border ID Rules Begin Today
By Sam Yousif :: Thursday, January 31, 2008 :: 67084 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society

Michigan, USA - Chaldeans will have to contend with tighter U.S. Border crossings as new rules go into affect today.  The new rules for the types of identification U.S. and Canadian citizens must present to cross into the country will require more documentation. 

Authorities were optimistic the changes wouldn't cause significant delays. Under the new rules, anyone crossing the border will no longer be allowed to simply declare to immigration officers at border crossings that they are citizens.

Instead, those 19 and older will have to show proof of citizenship -- a passport, trusted traveler card or a birth certificate and government-issued ID such as a driver's license.

Detroit, the busiest northern border crossing, saw no additional waits, said Ron Smith, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection in Detroit. The bridge and tunnel crossings between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario typically can see wait times of about 30 minutes to enter the U.S.  "Everything has been running really smoothly," he said.

Officers at the ports will have latitude to admit people who are unaware of the changes once their identities are confirmed, Ahern said. In Detroit, authorities will provide a grace period for travelers without the extra ID, and will hand out fliers explaining the changes, Smith said.

"The first couple of days, weeks maybe, could add a few seconds to the inspection process. But once people become aware of these requirements, and we're getting the word out to them ... those minor delays should disappear," Smith said.

The new rules came about after congress approved the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative in 2004, which requires verified citizenship and identification of all those entering the country from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The passport requirement for land and sea crossings has been delayed until June 2009.

Chaldeans wishing to cross into Mexico will also be affected.  Last week, Mexican tourism officials in Tijuana introduced a "Get Your Passport" campaign that gives U.S. passport holders discounts at restaurants and shops.

Jason Kizzy of San Diego said he will stop going to Mexico until he replaces his birth certificate. He has an old photocopy but worries it won't pass muster with inspectors.

The new passport cards the size of credit cards will allow citizens to cross the U.S.-Mexican border effectively and efficiently. Applications should be available starting Friday, although processing will take three to four months. Cards without previously issued passports will cost $45 for adults and $35 for children; they will cost $20 and $10, respectively, for those with passports.

Drivers' licenses enhanced with proof of citizenship and a radio frequency identification chip also will be accepted, Ahern added. Four states including Arizona have signed up for a federal program to offer the licenses.

For more information please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website at http://www.cbp.gov/


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St. Thomas, MI USA

St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church
6900 Maple Rd.
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Tel: (248) 788-2460
Fax: (248) 788-2153

Founding Pastor:
Rev. Hanna Cheikho

Current Pastor:
Rev. Frank Kalabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes, Retired  


Rev. Frank Kalabat
 

Rev. Frank Kalabat was born in 1970 in San Diego, California and entered St. Francis Seminary of San Diego, California.  The admission to the Catholic seminary made him the first born U.S. Chaldean to enter an American seminary.  In 1992, Fr. Kalabat continued his studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.  In July 1995, shortly after graduation he was ordained as priest by His Excellency Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim.  

Fr. Frank chose Mother of God Parish in Southfield, MI. as his first assignment serving the Chaldean community as an associate pastor for half a decade.  In 2001, Fr. Kalabat was elected to serve as Pastor of St. Tomas Parish in West Bloomfield, Michigan where he remains today.   

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1942. Upon graduation Fr. Abrahim was admitted to St. Peter Chaldean Seminary in Baghdad, Iraq.  After a decade of studies and numerous degrees, Fr. Abrhim was ordained a priest in 1967.  He chose to continue ministering in Baghdad, Iraq.  There he was appointed the headmaster of the catechism at Mother of Sorrows Cathedral.  Fr. Abrahim also assisted St. Therese Church in Baghdad until 1978.  Afterward he was asked to assist St. Joseph Church in Baghdad and was appointed Parochial Vicar from 1978-1992. 

In 1992, Fr. Abrahim was called upon to assist the growing Chaldean population in Michigan.  Upon his arrival he was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Tory, Michigan.  Two years later Fr. Abrahim was asked to become the pastor of a Parish community in Windsor, Canada  where he remained the parish pastor until 2001.

Continuing demographic changes in Michigan required Fr. Abrahim to return to St. Joseph Parish in Tory as a Parochial Vicar, where he remained until 2006.  In 2006 he was elected to St. Thomas Parish as Parochial Vicar in West Bloomfield, MI. where he currently serves the Chaldean community.

 

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes

Rev. Emmanuel Rays was born in Araden, Iraq in 1930.  He studied at St. John Dominican Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954.  The Chaldean catholic ambassador ministered in northern Iraq from 1954-1963, in Syria and Lebanon from 1963-1980, and in the United Stated from 1980 to the present day.
 
Form 1980-1983, he was appointed associate pastor at Mother of God Parish in Southfield, Michigan.  From 1983-1989 he served as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit, Michigan.  During the early 1990’s he ministered to the Chaldean community in Farmington Hills and was at St. Joseph Parish in Tory where he was Parochial Vicar until 2000.

Although Fr. Rayes retired in 2001, he remains active in serving the community.  He is the author of many articles in Arabic and is the editor-in-chief of the Al Mishal and Al-Tariq magazine.  He has translated and continues to translate many books from French and English into Arabic.