Trump travel order and Nexus cards
Ottawa scrambling to determine if dual nationals can still use special border pass to enter U.S.
The Liberal government is trying to ensure Canadian dual nationals can still use their Nexus trusted-traveller cards at the border following word that cards have been revoked, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says.
The government will urge American officials to apply the rules fairly in the wake of a Trump administration executive order banning travel to the U.S. by people from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Goodale told the House of Commons on Friday.
Conservative MP Michelle Rempel said during question period that doesn’t provide much clarity to Canadians wondering if their Nexus card — which allows speedy passage through airports and border crossings — is still usable.
“Has the minister asked for, and received, written assurance that any and all Nexus cards will remain valid in light of the executive order?” she asked.
Goodale told the House of Commons that those who hold a Canadian passport — whatever other national connections they might have — continue to enjoy the same access to the United States they always did.
The Nexus card, on the other hand, is a special provision “over and above the passport,” he said.
“We want to make sure that Canadians entitled to a Nexus card, which is discretionary on both sides of the border, are in fact treated properly and fairly.”
As of December, there were almost 1.5 million members in the Nexus program — about 80 per cent of them Canadians.
In a statement, the Canada Border Services Agency said it is aware of “some members having their Nexus cards removed and/or denied. There are a number of reasons a membership may be revoked and a membership may be declined.”
However, a border agency spokesperson could not immediately say whether the White House travel order would be sufficient grounds for revoking a Nexus card. Some 400,000 people and over $2 billion in goods and services cross the Canada-U.S. border every day.
The NDP pressed Goodale on Friday about another provision of the White House’s executive order on immigration that could eventually see all visitors entering and leaving the United States be subjected to biometric screening, such as fingerprint or iris scans.
Goodale said he “specifically raised the issue” of the biometric screening provision during a discussion this week with new U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, and requested clarification from the United States.