PASS cards to use biomteric information
| 04.13.2006 | 08:58:39 | Views: 2798 | ID:
April 13 '06: A new program begun by the Department of Homeland Security is looking to help frequent border crossers move across the border into the US from Mexico and Canada. The People Access Security Service card, also called PASS would work with "frequent border crossers with existing trusted traveler programs for Canadians, Mexicans, and truck drivers," Government Computer News reported this week.
Additionally, in comments made by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff at a World Travel and Tourism Summit in Washington DC on Tuesday the department is looking for ways to help expedite border crossing traffic while keeping safety in mind.Chertoff said the protection of the borders has to happen in a way "that doesn't close them, but that simply makes them safer and more secure. We want to have safe border but open borders." GCN also found that the PASS program, which began in January of 2006, will provide a way for people to avoid having to pay for a costly visa in order to cross the border. And radio frequency ID tags are being considered to put in the cards to help with identification purposes. GCN reported, that a "biometric card and reader that will allow people to use the same card in different ways to meet multiple access and security requirements" will be built and that it should be available by next year. That will help communities like the Akwesasne native tribe in Ontario, Canada. Pacific News Service reported this week that during "the International Indigenous Cross-Border Security Summit on March 17 and 18," Native representatives as well as non-Natives discussed ways to help cross-border traffic. "Akwesasne's strategic location rests partly in Quebec, partly in Ontario and partly in New York state, subjecting its residents to cross-border inspection regularly," Pacific News reported. Chief Michael Mitchell of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne District said at the summit, "This summit is an opportunity to share information between indigenous leaders and governmental authorities on border issues related to international crime, terrorism and identification cards. ... This is a concern for our indigenous people."
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