Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

April 12, 2006

Is the Rice-Chertoff initiative falling behind?

Filed under: Border Security,International HLS — by Christian Beckner on April 12, 2006

Sec. Chertoff spoke today at the 2006 Global Travel and Tourism Summit; his full remarks are available here. The speech was a reprise of his remarks in January with Sec. Rice to unveil the “Secure Borders and Open Doors” initiative. I was very supportive of this initiative when it was announced, and continue to believe that the initiative includes a number of excellent ideas. But I’m increasingly worried that the initiative is moving forward more slowly than it should. The FY 2007 budget request for DHS did not mention the Rice-Chertoff initiative’s proposals, and today’s speech seemed to suggest that deadlines were starting to slip:

For example, in January Sec. Chertoff said:

To strike the right balance between security and facilitation, we have to incorporate 21st century technology and innovation, and so by the end of this year our departments anticipate issuing a new, inexpensive secure travel card for land border crossings that will meet the documentation requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative…

But today on the same topic he said:

We’re working with the Department of State diligently to produce this PASS card by early next year.

The ideas in the Rice-Chertoff initiative are too important to delay or neglect. Hopefully DHS and the State Department will move forward expeditiously with many of the items, and will advocate for them in Congress during the current appropriations cycle.

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1 Comment »

Pingback by Homeland Security Watch » The Second-Stage Review, one year later

July 13, 2006 @ 12:29 am

[…] 7. New agenda to welcome lawful foreign visitors. Chertoff noted that he and Sec. Rice would soon be announcing “a detailed agenda of work and innovation that the Department of State and DHS have already begun, to work together to ease the path for those who wish to visit, study, and conduct business in the United States.” In January 2006, six months later, Rice and Chertoff unveiled the Secure Borders and Open Doors initiative aka the Rice-Chertoff Initiative. But many items on this agenda have been slow to materialize, and the signature initiative – new PASS cards for WHTI compliance – has moved forward slowly, prompting the Senate to want to delay its implementation. […]

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