Trump travel or­der and Nexus cards

Ot­tawa scram­bling to de­ter­mine if dual na­tion­als can still use spe­cial bor­der pass to en­ter U.S.

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - JIM BRON­SKILL

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.

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