WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) today released a joint report on Phase I of the Entry/Exit proof of concept, a commitment of the Beyond the Border Action Plan, which outlines progress made to establish a coordinated Entry/Exit information system and further enhance security along our shared border.
"The results of Phase I demonstrate the capacity of the United States and Canada to increase information sharing capabilities and further improve the security and efficiency for both countries," said CBP Acting Commissioner Thomas S. Winkowski. "This kind of cooperation epitomizes the Beyond the Border Action Plan."
"Today's report is an important step forward for both Canada and the U.S. as it confirms our ability to exchange entry data as a means to establish an exit from the other country," said Vic Toews, Canada's Minister of Public Safety. "Through secure and cost effective information sharing, we are bolstering the security and efficiency of our shared border."
A coordinated Entry/Exit information system will help the U.S. and Canada identify persons who potentially overstay their lawful period of admission; better 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.
Under the pilot project, DHS and CBSA exchanged routine biographic entry information, in accordance with the Joint Statement on Privacy Principles established by the Beyond the Border Action Plan. The program tested the concept of an Entry/Exit system for both countries through the exchange of information, such that an entry into one country becomes an exit from the other.
On June 30, 2013, both countries will begin Phase II, whereby biographic information collected on third-country nationals, lawful permanent residents of the U.S. and permanent residents of Canada at automated common land border ports of entry (land, ferry and pedestrian), will be exchanged.
The process of collecting and sharing personal information will be done in accordance with each country's privacy laws and policies. It will also be 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 DHS and the CBSA. The U.S. and Canada are currently conducting Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) for Phase II and they will be available on CBP and CBSA Web sites before the implementation of Phase II.
On February 4, 2011, Prime Minister Harper and President Obama released the Beyond the Border Declaration, articulating a shared vision in which our countries work together to address threats at the earliest point possible while facilitating the legitimate movement of people, goods and services across our shared border. The Action Plan, released on December 2011, outlines the specific steps our countries intend to take to achieve the security and economic competitiveness goals outlined in the Beyond the Border Declaration.