U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced today the implementation of Phase III of the Entry/Exit information system, a commitment of the Beyond the Border Action Plan.
During Phase I, implemented in 2012, the U.S. and Canada piloted the exchange of information on third country nationals and permanent legal residents at four land border ports along the U.S.-Canada border. Building upon the pilot, in Phase II the countries institutionalized this exchange of data at all common land border ports in June 2013. Phase III of this program expands the exchange of data to include U.S. and Canadian citizens, and continue the sharing of data on legal permanent residents and third country nationals.
CBP and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) are exchanging biographic data, travel documents, and other border crossing information collected from individuals traveling between the countries at land border ports of entry. This data exchange allows both governments to expand their situational border awareness so that the record of a traveler’s entry into one country can establish a record of exit from the other country.
“I am proud of the cooperation between the U.S. and Canada on this significant agreement to promote our mutual security and economic competitiveness,” said Acting U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, Kevin K. McAleenan. “Ultimately, our commitment to sharing information on travelers moving across our borders helps improve public safety, detect dangerous actors and those who violated their visas, and enforce our rule of law.”
“Canada and the U.S. are strengthening the management of our shared border by delivering on our commitment to fully implement the Entry/Exit initiative at the land border,” said the Honorable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. “The Government of Canada is determined to keep our border secure while protecting individual rights and freedoms, and has built privacy protections into the core of the Entry/Exit initiative.”
Importantly, a coordinated Entry/Exit information system will help the U.S. and Canada identify persons who overstay their lawful period of admission; monitor the departure of persons subject to removal orders; and verify that residency requirements are being met by applicants for continued eligibility in immigration programs.
The process of collecting, sharing and securing information will be done in accordance with each country’s respective privacy laws and policies and consistent with the Action Plan, Joint Statement of Privacy Principles, and an Annex to the Statement of Mutual Understanding on Information Sharing agreed to by CBP and CBSA. (Joint Statement of Privacy Principles)