WHTI DC Trip

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Information about WHTI DC Trip
Travel-Nature

Published on March 27, 2008

Author: Renzo

Source: authorstream.com

Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative:  Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative Lisa Katz Ken Oplinger Detroit Regional Chamber Bellingham Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry Lkatz@detroitchamber.com ken@bellingham.com 313-596-0460 360-393-9171 February 13, 2006 Presentation Overview:  Presentation Overview U.S./Canada Border Overview WHTI Overview Alternatives Discussion Proposals for action U.S./Canada Border Overview:  U.S./Canada Border Overview Longest common border that is not militarized or actively patrolled 4,000 miles contiguous U.S.—5,500 altogether (U.S./Mexico border is 2,000 miles) 11 states and 8 provinces 51 million Americans and over 30 million Canadians 90% of Canadians live within 100 miles Facts U.S./Canada Border Overview:  U.S./Canada Border Overview Trade $1.2 billion U.S./Canada trade/daily Supports 5.2 million jobs Travel/Tourism 2004: 15 million U.S. to Canada 2004: 14 million Canada to U.S. 2004: Canadians spent $10.3 billion in U.S. ($7.9 billion for dining, gifts, hotels, etc.) Canadian spending up 39% over 10 years—U.S. travel surplus Economy U.S./Canada Border Overview:  U.S./Canada Border Overview Top Economic Value Economy Top Destinations U.S./Canada Border Overview:  U.S./Canada Border Overview Economy Three Busiest U.S./Canada Border Crossings Total Value of Trade Detroit/Port Huron (~$450 million per day, #1 nationally) Buffalo (~$160 million per day, #2 nationally) Bellingham/Cascade (~$40 million per day) U.S./Canada Border Overview:  U.S./Canada Border Overview Restaurants and shopping (50% of Canadian visits) Work and family Athletic events 10%+ Tigers, North American International Auto Show and other ticket sales (much more for hockey) Olympics, Super Bowl, All-Star Game Theater, music, other Cultural Integration U.S./Canada Border Overview:  U.S./Canada Border Overview Illegal immigration Canada’s illegal alien population represents 0.4% of Mexico’s (120k versus 2.7 million) Canada’s illegal immigration growth rate is 5% of Mexico’s Southern border = regulate; northern border = stimulate Canadians enter U.S. to spend money (shopping) and cross more frequently than Americans Special Features of the Northern Border U.S./Canada Border Overview:  U.S./Canada Border Overview Northern border (5,500 miles) cannot be completely secured. 140 customs stations (many remote) Mountains, prairie, Great Lakes Security ratio for northern border vs. south is 1:7 Current WHTI implementation will inconvenience low risk and not deter high risk. Special Features of the Northern Border U.S./Canada Border Overview:  U.S./Canada Border Overview 60% of Canadians do not have passports. If one in 12 does not acquire a passport and stops traveling into the US, the US economy could lose $532 million. A 15% drop in air travel by Canadians would amount to an additional loss of $583 million to the US economy. The hardest hit states would be Florida and California. What’s At Stake WHTI Background:  WHTI Background Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (sec. 7209) signed December 2004 All travel into U.S. (includes U.S. citizens) Requires “passport or other document, or combination of documents” Implementation date: January 1, 2008 New Law WHTI Background:  WHTI Background Law gives DHS discretion to determine alternatives Expect the following will meet requirements: Passports Pre-clearance programs (e.g., NEXUS, SENTRI, and FAST) Also discussion of new northern border ID card (“Passport Lite”) Implementation Plans WHTI Background:  WHTI Background While there is need for greater security, we must balance national and economic security. Proposed alternatives tip the balance too far against economic security and could prove catastrophic. Plan Implications WHTI Background:  WHTI Background Passports Only 20% of Americans and 40% of Canadians have a passport (30% of Congress) Costs $97/person in U.S. 6-8 weeks to process Pre-clearance programs Harder to get than passport $60 for NEXUS; 6-8 weeks to process No guaranteed access to lanes Not integrated/interchangeable at different ports Low enrollment (50,000 nationwide in NEXUS; only 6% of those eligible are in FAST) Proposal Assessment WHTI Background:  WHTI Background “Passport Lite”—new border ID (PASS Card) Similar documentation and wait times as passport Usable only at land borders Cheaper and easier to carry than passport ($55) Does not necessarily address spontaneous travelers Lackluster promotion and implementation of pre-clearance programs makes highly unlikely the prospect that DHS can successfully implement this far more ambitious plan. Proposal Assessment WHTI Background:  WHTI Background WHTI threatens border economies Tourism and travel Rising trade volumes + increased border processing times = 300% processing time increase since 9/11 (JIT) 3,000 Canadian nurses work in SE Michigan Cross-border trips down 20-30% since 9/11 (wait times, hassle, uncertainty—threatens spontaneous travel) Just discussing WHTI will contribute to additional declines (12% from now until 1/2008) Passports: Minneapolis to St. Paul? Foundations For Concern Policy Alternatives:  New documentation requirements could be met by widely used ID with applications beyond the border. DHS and DoS are not considering federal law changes with regard to drivers license and birth certificate. Policy Alternatives Recommendations Policy Alternatives:  REAL-ID could meet WHTI without inventing a new ID Signed May 2005: state driver’s license or ID card cannot be used for any federal purpose unless it meets federal requirements by 5/2008 Federally regulated commercial aircraft, nuclear power plants, federally regulated critical infrastructure Policy Alternatives Recommendations Policy Alternatives:  Policy Alternatives Specified data/security features Standardized docs to establish ID Verification of doc authenticity Photo ID doc or non-photo with full legal name & birth date Doc showing birth date Proof of SSN or ineligibility for SSN Doc showing name and residence address Valid doc evidence of U.S. citizenship or legal U.S. presence Recommendations REAL-ID Minimum Standards Policy Alternatives:  States could provide option of indicating citizenship on driver’s license at renewal and application (border crossing for citizens only). Those with no objection of showing citizenship would have a document acceptable for crossing the border. Could work with feds—MOUs, credentialing, etc. to incorporate WHTI, bio indicators, etc. NY, MI, WA = 90% of problem solved—nationwide implementation not essential. Let northern border pursue. State-based solutions could even prove MORE secure than PASS. Policy Alternatives Recommendations Policy Alternatives:  Greater chance of reciprocity from Canada Canadian federal government and various other government levels have submitted comments supporting this option. Michigan and Ontario driver’s license agencies already have met to explore a pilot. Michigan offered to self fund. KEY: Maintaining flow of Canadians into U.S. Policy Alternatives Recommendations Policy Alternatives:  “Can’t do” vs. “how to” Too many birth certificates versions (new law requires more standardization/fraud prevention, plus system is being created to help states address this problem under REAL-ID) State vs. federal Data sharing (precedent exists; could be done voluntarily) Jurisdiction (homeland security, document security, passport issuance; commercial drivers licenses; hazardous materials drivers; passport acceptance agents and data verifiers) Timelines (January 2008 vs. May 2008) Policy Alternatives Recommendations Policy Alternatives:  Passport Policy Alternatives Recommendations Proof of citizenship required Proof of identity (driver’s license suggested) Two recent color photographs sent by applicant Completed application form REAL-ID Citizenship could be collected (optional) Proof of ID=verified docs to obtain driver’s license Photo taken at time of application Application could be part of REAL-ID process Policy Alternatives:  Policy Alternatives Recommendations Costs $97 (~$55 for “Passport Lite”/PASS card, despite estimated $2.00 to produce—revenue generator) 6-8 weeks to process Costs $25 in MI ($18 to renew); may be adjusted to accommodate border Currently about one week to process (likely will increase w/ REAL-ID) Passport Driver’s License Policy Alternatives:  Benefits of REAL-ID alternative: Streamlined implementation of WHTI (no new documentation requirement) Alleviates DoS workload increase Machine/RFID-readable REAL-ID card could speed border crossings and airline travel Eliminates redundant cost of government due to REAL-ID and new documentation implementation Special cases: elderly and children 16 and under (state IDs) Policy Alternatives Recommendations Bottom Line:  Strike a balance between national and economic security—secure can still be smart Leverage existing assets (e.g., expertise, technology, documentation, experience) Think beyond traditional crossings—those who threaten us will For individuals: low cost, low complication, easy access Bottom Line Principles Bottom Line:  Bottom Line Support “zone of confidence” Require studies for border policies that threaten to restrict movement of goods and people Seek stakeholder input Harmonize REAL-ID and WHTI Eliminate implementation barriers (e.g., extend WHTI deadline) Fund bi-national pilot project Require extensive marketing/public awareness of any new documentation program Encourage top-level discussion of alternatives with NAFTA partners

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