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A Customs and Border Protection officer checks passports at the passport control booth in Miami. - 


Scott Jagow: U.S. passports have gone high-tech recently.
They have chips imbedded in them for better security and getting through lines faster.
Mexico is also trying something similar. From our Americas Desk at WLRN, here's Dan Grech.

Dan Grech: While the immigration debate roils in the U.S., Mexico has its own border problem, at its southern frontier. The 200-plus crossings into Belize and Guatemala are plagued with falsified documents, corrupt border guards and illegal immigrants.

So Mexico's come up with a high-tech solution: an electronic identity card.

Lee Tablewski: This is part of their program of trying to regularize with a database the people that are crossing the border. I think it's a very good step.

That's Lee Tablewski, director of Project Mexico at the Institute of the Americas. He says right now, tourists and guest workers use a pase local, or local entry card.

Tablewski: People call these cards Mickey Mouse cards. They look bad, you can tell immediately that they're false, and they're all over the place. And this is an attempt, with a chip, to reduce or eliminate that kind of fraud.

The new electronic cards will be issued starting in March.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.