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CBP Makes 2 Apprehensions Through Facial Biometrics at Canada Preclearance locations

Release Date: 
February 18, 2021

CANADA—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers recently made an apprehension in Toronto and Vancouver, immediately following the implementation of Simplified Arrival, an enhanced international arrival process using facial biometrics, which began in Canada earlier this month.   

In Toronto, CBP officers identified a facial mismatch of a Canadian citizen attempting to travel to the United States. Upon further inspection, CBP officers uncovered that the traveler attempted to use her sister’s passport for entry into the United States. The imposter was denied admissibility and turned over to Canadian authorities.

In Vancouver, during the Simplified Arrival process, CBP Officers identified a traveler who had been a previous deportee from the United States. A secondary inspection further uncovered that the traveler had claimed asylum in Canada, but did not have a valid travel waiver, nor did he have permission to reapply for admission into the United States. The traveler was processed for withdrawal from the United States and returned to Canada.

“These apprehensions are a prime example of our skillful officers and their dedication to efficient and secure travel,” said Clint Lamm, CBP Director of Field Operations. “Simplified Arrival helps enhance our officers’ tool kit, enabling them to perform at an even higher level of professionalism to provide a better experience for the traveling public and secure the nation.”

Simplified Arrival is an enhanced international arrival process that uses biometric facial comparison technology to automate the manual document checks that are already required for admission into the United States. This process provides travelers with a touchless experience that further secures and streamlines international arrivals while fulfilling a longstanding Congressional mandate to biometrically record the entry and exit of non-U.S. citizens.

Simplified Arrival only uses the biometric facial comparison process at a time and place where travelers are already required by law to verify their identity by presenting a travel document. When travelers arrive at a Preclearance location for a U.S.-bound flight, they will pause for a photo during their brief interview with a CBP Officer. The process compares the new photo of the traveler to a small gallery of high-quality images that the traveler has already provided to the government, such as passport and visa photos. New photos of U.S. citizens will be deleted within 12 hours, while photos of most foreign nationals are stored in a secure Department of Homeland Security system.

To date, more than 62 million travelers have participated in the biometric facial comparison process at air, land and sea ports of entry. Since September 2018, CBP has leveraged facial biometrics to prevent more than 400 imposters from illegally entering the United States by using genuine travel documents that were issued to other people.

More information about CBP’s efforts to secure and streamline travel through facial biometrics can be found here.

Last modified: 
February 18, 2021