Skip to comments.US, Canada and Mexico rollout border plans
Posted on 06/28/2005 8:09:23 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
The United States and its North American neighbors say they will set up a trusted traveler scheme for the whole continent by 2008, and will this year develop a plan to respond together to major terror attacks and other incidents.
Trusted traveler programs enable people who provide biometric personal data -- like fingerprints or iris scans -- pay a fee and submit to background checks to use special travel lanes at border crossings.
The idea is to speed processing for those travelers not thought security risks, and whose identity can be verified biometrically.
A Department of Homeland Security statement Monday said that air and sea ports would also be included.
The program, first unveiled last week at a House panel by homeland security official Elaine Dezenski, would incorporate both NEXUS and SENTRI -- the two trusted traveler programs currently run at the U.S. border.
DHS spokesman Russ Knocke told United Press International that details of the scheme -- including whether it would employ biometrics -- have yet to be finalized, but added that biometrics was "the direction everything's moving in, identity-wise."
Answering reporters' questions about the scheme in Ottawa Monday, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said "the way forward ultimately, not just with respect to North America, but with respect to the world, is biometrics."
The program is part of a hugely ambitious initiative launched by President Bush, Mexican President Vincente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin on March 23 this year, following their summit at the president's Crawford, Texas ranch.
Ultimately, the Security and Prosperity Partnership for North America, as it is called, aims to standardize border admissions procedures -- watchlist checks, visa processing and document standards -- to the point where "all travelers arriving in North America will experience a comparable level of screening," according to a homeland security fact sheet.
The program was announced Monday following a meeting in Ottawa, Canada, between Chertoff and his opposite numbers -- Mexican Interior Secretary Carlos Abascal and Canadian Deputy Prime Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Anne McLellan.
The three were joined by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, Canadian Minister of Industry David Emerson and Mexican Secretary of the Economy Fernando Canales.
The meeting, the first in a series of planned follow-ons to the March summit, also agreed that the three nations would work towards "compatible biometric border and immigration systems," announced the elimination of a series of regulatory barriers and other impediments to cross-border commerce, and committed to a comprehensive plan for responding together to major terror attacks and other incidents.
Within 12 months, the fact sheet says, the three nations will have established "protocols for incident management that impact border operations (and for) maritime incidents, cross-border public health emergencies and cross-border law enforcement response."
Co-operation on incident response will also include "interoperable communications systems" and joint preparedness exercises, including one ahead of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
The United States and Mexico also agreed to form joint intelligence-sharing task forces along their border "to target criminal gang and trafficking organizations."
The three countries also committed to work towards "compatible criteria for the posting of lookouts of suspected terrorists and criminals" and "real time information sharing on high risk individuals and cargos."
This last element of the plans may prove controversial in Canada, where public opinion seems concerned that a closer security relationship with the United States might jeopardize Canada's traditionally welcoming attitude toward asylum seekers or require an unnerving degree of information sharing.
The case of Maher Arar has dramatized Canadian concerns about counter-terror cooperation. Arar is a Syrian-born Canadian citizen who was shipped to Syria -- where he was tortured -- by U.S. authorities after Canadian intelligence identified him to them as a suspected associate of a suspected terrorist.
"The real time sharing of information with U.S. security agencies about a foreigner visiting Vancouver with no intention of entering the United States seems certain to cause a stir," opined the Toronto Globe and Mail earlier this year, adding that just such transparency would be necessary to the most ambitious visions of a common U.S.-Canadian security frontier.
In Mexico, attention is fixed on different questions about the partnership -- which Mexican officials refer to as the Security, Prosperity and Quality of Life Partnership.
"Why has the initiative not included funding provisions for reducing the economic gap between Mexico and the United States and Canada?" asked a Mexican reporter of Chertoff and Gutierrez.
Currently, the U.S. and Canada have two pilot projects for frequent cross-border travelers: NEXUS for airline passengers and FAST for land crossings. The plan is to extend this to maritime passengers (dubbed the SENTRI program) and to have all three "trusted traveler" programs cover all three North American countries.
It's not only puzzling, but is directly contradictory. How can we ask our troops to come home to this..?
It is truly shameful.
Perhaps an email to LouDobbs@cnn.com expressing this would be an idea.
Just saw on MSNBC where a mom is pissed because the us gov showed on her caller id when a recruiter called her 16 year old daughter without fully identifying himself. Offering her perks to quit school, get a GED, Blah blah. Woman said that a police officer cannot talk to a minor without parental presence and permission, then why can the goverment military recruiters discuss careers with a minor without parental permission?
Found out there's a federal law that schools have to provide recruiters with home information on High School seniors.
Isn't that exactly what the anti-immigrants want? Military troops with checkpoints saying "Papers please"?
No its what the "free traders" want. You see, they want everyone in the hemisphere to take advantage of America, but they still want the American citizen to support them with their taxes and lives in the US military. That would be the only reason for the "papers".
Notice that "papers" weren't needed until the globalist "free traders" corrupted our government.
>>The red meat is here, with the real issues.<<
But this is ugly red meat and you won't smile for hours.
My wife and my kids are what can bring the quickest smile to my face today. It is because of them that I read this ugly stuff. I want to know what is out there and how to protect them from reality crashing their dreams.
Exactly right, and with no input, vote, or even discussion allowed....let alone information. Notice the euphemism of the day for illegal aliens by the millions pouring over the border: 'trusted travelers'. Is smoke coming out of your ears yet?
Are you talking about anti-immigrants, anti-illegal immigrants, or both? If a foreigner is a legal immigrant, then he has our permission to come to the United States. Why would anybody have a problem with that? Also, any foreigner who legally comes to the United States is already required to show his "Papers please" when he arrives here.
What the samhell is that? I swear, the "leaders" of America have lost their minds! It's time we gather by the pier for the next "tea toss", only this time we need to toss critters. :)
Who in their frickin' right mind believes that Mexico is capable of contributing anything in the event of a major terror attack?
Has Mexico contributed anything of value in the last 75 years to the international community at large and USA specifically?
"Isn't that exactly what the anti-immigrants want? Military troops with checkpoints saying "Papers please"?"
If that is what you take from it, you are mentally handicapped.
I see very few "anti-immigrants" here on FR...in fact, I think I can count them on one hand. If you are talking about anti ILLEGAL "immigrants"...then you need to say so and get your facts straight.
And yes, military troops on the border is not that bad of an idea...come to think of it. Better on this border, than in Iraq. There's nothing wrong with checking papers at an internation border, is there Bayourod?
Trusted Traveler = caca de toro (BS)
Check this out! This is the second article I've read like this about our "trusted travelers" from Mexico in just the past week.
There is not a single person in Mexico that should be trusted as far as my dead grandmother can throw them including our own US Ambassador who recently married the richest woman in Mexico and thus became part of their corrupt elite.
Apparently, an expressway for drug traffic is one of the desired outcomes of this "trusted traveler" program.
We don't need fingerprints for normal travelers. We need to close the damn border to stop ourselves from becoming Amerimexico!
I like the way they tell us what's going on without telling us what's going on..."Cross-border law enforcement response"...you Betcha...
That's being taken care of...right here
My rant was nearly incomprehensible, but people have got to wake up and be angry. There are so many that will blindly follow the Lemming in Chief over the cliff.
If you really think about it, the only way this could happen is if the main body of troops is in a far off land. If you believe in prophecy, the anti-christ is going to seem like the lamb, but in truth he will be against all that is good.
This is for us.
The illegals will just keep coming in the usual way.
Isn't that exactly what the anti-immigrants want? Military troops with checkpoints saying "Papers please"?<<<
YES!!! on the MEXICAN BORDER!!
We do not want their dredges in this Country.
Who exactly are these "anti-immigrants"? I've never met one, nor have I even heard of one before.
Now getting back to the original topic, ILLEGAL ALIENS who sneak over the border and take advantage of America's tax paying citizens by raping the land of money and resources without paying taxes to replenish them, and who often assume several aliases to avoid justice when they commit a crime or traffic infraction, and who make up THIRTY PERCENT of incarcerated criminals in California, and who drive without a license or insurance, and who make up EIGHTEEN PERCENT of California gangs who rape, kill and deal drugs; yes, we need to put a serious plug in our pourous borders.
Tight border control will not only serve to stop criminals trying to circumvent our immigration laws and bleed our economy dry, it will also help prevent terrorists and wanted criminals fleeing justice in their homelands from entering our country and committing more crime.