Collins expresses concern with biometric exit-entry program at Peace Bridge

Posted 2 February 2017 at 8:51 pm

Press Release, Congressman Chris Collins

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) has sent correspondence to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly expressing a deep concern regarding the expedited implementation of the biometric exit-entry system.

“Western New Yorkers and our economy rely heavily on the timely movement between Canada and the United States via the Peace Bridge,” said Congressman Chris Collins. “While keeping our communities safe is my number one priority, I want to ensure that before any agency implements the biometric exit-entry system fully, we examine all possible transportation impacts and take steps to alleviate any disruptions that may be created. Our southern and northern borders have different security issues and I hope those differences are taken into account.”

The biometric exit-entry program was requested by the 9/11 Commission to better track individuals traveling in and out of the country. However, its implementation has been delayed because of the significant logistical issues it could create.

The issue has recently been raised because President Trump in his executive order on immigration states: “The Secretary of Homeland Security shall expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all travelers to the United States, as recommended by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.”

In the letter, Congressman Collins writes, “I strongly support increased national security measures across our nation and commend President Trump for his swift action.  However, I am concerned that an expedited implementation of this system will not take into consideration the differences in security interests at our northern and southern borders.”

Furthermore, he urges Secretary Kelly “to carefully consider the wide-spread impacts implementation of a biometric entry-exit system would have on our northern border.”

Congressman Collins previously introduced an amendment in 2015 requiring a pilot program be implemented before a full scale implementation of the biometric exit-entry program to avoid any major commerce and travel disruptions.

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