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DHS Reminds Public of Deadline for Comments

 
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DMCKEON
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 8:34 am    Post subject: DHS Reminds Public of Deadline for Comments Reply with quote

DHS Reminds Public of Deadline for Comments on Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010
October 28, 2005

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is reminding the public of the October 31, 2005 deadline for comment on the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) for the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

The ANPRM seeks comments on how to implement a mandate established by The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA) which requires the Secretaries of Homeland Security and State to develop and implement a plan to require U.S. citizens and foreign nationals to present a passport or other appropriate secure identity and citizenship documentation when entering the United States. IRTPA will require all travelers to and from the Americas, the Caribbean, and Bermuda to have a passport or other accepted documents that establish the bearerís identity and nationality to enter or re-enter the United States by January 1, 2008.

IRTPA, and implementing the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, will affect all United States citizens entering or re-entering the U.S. who do not currently possess valid passports. It will also affect certain foreign nationals who currently are not required to present a passport to travel to the United States, namely Canadian citizens, citizens of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda and Mexican citizens.

The ANPRM explains that passports will be an acceptable document, offering identification and proof of citizenship, consistent with the intent of the law. However, the Department of Homeland Security is working closely with the Department of State (DoS) to explore other acceptable travel documents, especially for land border crossings, and will make public additional options as they become available.

Although this comment period will close on October 31, 2005, this is not the last opportunity for the public to comment on the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. After a review of the comments received thus far and additional analysis is completed, DHS and DoS will issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. This Notice will invite public comment again on the proposed rule and will take place sufficiently in advance of the implementation date for this phase of the program.

Those who would like to submit comments on the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking may do so by mail or via the Internet.

To submit via U.S. mail, please send your comments to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Regulations and Rulings, Regulations Branch, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20229. Please be sure to include the agency names (Department of Homeland Security and Department of State) and the docket number (USCBP-2005-0005) in your correspondence. Comments by mail must be postmarked by October 31, 2005.

To submit your comments anonymously via the Internet, please visit: www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic-bld61/component/main.
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