Group Opposes DHS License-Checking Policy

The Border Trade Alliance (BTA) has written a letter of opposition to Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, calling upon the department for the immediate end to the current policy of checking and manually entering drivers license information, but not verifying citizenship. This past month, Customs and Border Protection officers began checking the drivers licenses for 60 percent of travelers entering the United States from Canada and Mexico. Wait times at the border have nearly doubled since this process started.

In the letter, BTA argues,”State-issued drivers licenses in current form do not provide proof of citizenship nor should they be considered secure documents. The General Accounting Office (GAO) has repeatedly reported to Congress on the ease in which its investigators have crossed our borders using counterfeit drivers licenses. Finally, there has been no information shared with the public on how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or CBP plan to safeguard the privacy of US citizens' information that is being collected as a result of this policy.”

As part of the letter, BTA also offered several recommendations to improve secure traveler programs to ensure the physical and economic security of our nation. To download the letter, access www.thebta.org/content/downloads/.

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