The Amish often seek medical treatment across the border.
Cost is the main reason why. Lacking health insurance as the Amish do, treatment in the US can be expensive.
A new law requiring passports, complete with identifying photos, could stop trips to Canada and Mexico.
The photo part is the problem. Most Amish avoid posing for photos.
The group has usually been able to negotiate exemptions on things like schooling, selective service, and Social Security.
This could prove tougher.
U.S. representative Joseph Pitts, whom the Amish have recruited to help, explains for the Lancaster New Era (article no longer online):
“If you use religious exemption on photographs, there are Islamic groups with women who don’t want their faces shown as well,” Pitts said. “You have to be very careful about this.”
Will the Amish be forced to compromise? The law for land travel comes into effect in January of next year.
Some Amish have stated that this might prevent them getting proper medical care. Others might concede. “I guess if it comes to pass, we’ll just stay home or follow the law,” an Amish businessman commented.