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Success Stories: Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative: Land and Sea

Objective: Continue to Protect our Nation from Dangerous People

Situation   Action
  • 1999: Ahmed Ressam, an al-Qaeda terrorist living in Canada, entered the U.S. using fraudulent I.D. to carry out his part of the 2000 millennium attack plots
  • 2004 Intel Reform Act: Entry into the U.S. requires a passport or other secure document denoting citizenship and identity for all land and sea travel
  • Secretary Chertoff: "Secure documents are a national imperative that will prevent dangerous people from entering [U.S.] using fraudulent [I.D.]"
  • Jun 20, 2007: DHS and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announce the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the land and sea portion of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)
  • Secretary Chertoff holds a press conference and showcases over 8,000 currently accepted forms of I.D. and the challenges CBP and ICE currently face in assessing travelers as they apply for entry to U.S.
  • DHS Goal: to quickly & accurately identify travelers
Result   Accepted Forms of Identification for Citizens of:
  • Jan 31, 2008: U.S. and Canadian citizens will need to present either a WHTI-compliant document or a government-issued photo ID, like a driver’s license, plus proof of citizenship: i.e. a birth certificate copy
  • DHS will end the routine practice of accepting oral declarations alone at land and sea ports of entry; alternative procedures for U.S. & Canadian children
  • Summer of 2008, WHTI is to be fully implemented
  • Bermuda Bermuda: May present a passport issued by the Government of Bermuda or the United Kingdom ...
  • Canada Canada: May present a valid passport issued by the Government of Canada, or a valid trusted traveler program card such as NEXUS or FAST ...
  • Mexico Mexico: As under current entry requirements, Mexican nationals, regardless of age, must present a passport issued by the Government of Mexico and a visa or a valid Border Crossing card, may additionally have a valid SENTRI card ...
  • "For terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons..." - The 9/11 Commission
Case# 0000039

This page was last modified on August 30, 2007