A U.S. Customs and Border Protection memo reveals that if lines get too long at the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas, border guards start letting people through without the required checks. This is one of the memo’s provisos that caught my eye:

If wait time is 60 to 120 minutes or more — the average wait at the numerous crossings — they are to query only the driver and ensure that the license plate is correct.

When I drove back into the U.S. from Montreal in the summer of 2006 on Canada 15 (which becomes I-87), the wait at the border was well over an hour. While most of the passenger cars got by with a few questions of the driver, a car-registration check and some peering into the car by the border guards, trucks, vans and RVs were required to open their doors for a closer look. Sounds like there are more stringent regulations at our northern border than our southern.