International Travel Leaders Encourages Urges Trump To Cut Travel Requirements To Enter The US:
·2 min read
International travel leaders are encouraging President Trump to end the Transportation Security Administration’s new requirement for certain Canadian citizens to pass an electronic fingerprint test when entering the United States in order to reduce wait times at border crossings and do more harm than good. The international travel experts started an online petition addressed to Trump, which has already received thousands of signatures. Under the Department of Homeland Security’s initiative scheduled to begin next month, travelers who are not enrolled or eligible for Global Entry would have to provide an additional biometric identification when entering the US by land or by sea. Travelers will be required to obtain a special mobile ID from Customs and Border Protection using the Cava app, even if they do not have Global Entry.
“Requiring electronic ‘travelers’ in Canada to submit their biometric data in order to travel will only add more stress and uncertainty to the international travelers who just want to enjoy their visit,” wrote Travel Leaders Network President Christine Petersen in a letter dated Feb. 16 addressed to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Christopher Krebs, the undersecretary over transportation security at the Department of Homeland Security. She added that requiring biometric testing for citizens from “friendly nations like Canada… is extremely disappointing.”
Travel Leaders Network is urging Canadian citizens not enrolled or eligible for Global Entry (or Nexus) who wish to avoid this requirement should register for it online before coming into the United States. By enrolling in the automated Nexus lane, Canadian citizens will be able to use self-serve kiosks at land crossings into the US where they can scan their passports and fingerprints. Travel Leaders Network is also encouraging members to sign its petition addressed to Trump , asking him not to test this program on all international travelers.
“Canadian citizens enrolled in Global Entry now have their customs declarations automatically populated when entering the United States.” However, those who are not enrolled will need an additional mobile ID from Customs and Border Protection using the Cava app even if they do not have Global Entry.
“We don’t want it because it’s too cumbersome,” said Larry Kaye, chief executive of Travel Leaders Group.
Kaye also pointed out that foreign travelers often use aliases or fictitious user names when they create online profiles on platforms like Facebook—making it difficult for U.S. officials to search for them even if they were required to provide their real identities in visa applications.
“The new policy does not seem to take into account the reality of how people use social media and set up user names,” Kaye said, adding that “travel agents can’t look for fictitious names on Facebook.”
Kaye went on to say the Travel Leaders Group and ASTA had made several prior requests for an exemption from visa vetting procedures through DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and his predecessor, Janet Napolitano.
Currently, about 40% of foreign travelers who hold U.S. visas are exempt from providing their Facebook, Twitter or other social media user names — either as part of a waiver program or as part of an existing exemptions category such as diplomatic travel.”