US, Mexico Announce Pilot to Enhance Border Security at San Ysidro-El Chapparral Port of Entry
US and Mexico will exchange biographic information on certain pedestrians to create entry and exit records
WASHINGTON—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM) announced today the launch of the Joint Pedestrian Land Port of Entry Pilot at the San Ysidro-El Chaparral Port of Entry to facilitate the collection and sharing of biographic information on pedestrians who leave the United States and enter Mexico. As part of Phase I of the pilot program, the U.S. and Mexico will exchange biographic information on Mexican nationals to create traveler entry and exit records.
The exchange of border crossing data will not only strengthen the capability of Mexico and the United States to enforce immigration requirements, but will also speed up the inspection process—promoting secure and legitimate travel.
During the pilot, Mexican citizens using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)-enabled travel documents to enter Mexico at the gatehouse San Ysidro-El Chapparral Port of Entry in Tijuana will be directed to a separate lane equipped with an RFID reader for inbound processing by INM officials. RFID-enabled travel documents include: a Border Crossing Card, a Permanent Resident Card, U.S. Passport Cards, and Trusted Traveler Cards. Using the RFID information provided by INM, CBP will create an implied exit record and verify a traveler’s departure from the United States. The pilot will have minimal impact on current port operations and traveler processing time.
Advancing and improving our existing biographic collection process is a CBP priority as we work toward our long-term vision of a comprehensive biometric exit land solution. CBP is pursuing a solution for the Mexican border similar to the one that is currently in place at the Canadian border, in which CBP and the Canadian Border Services Agency exchange entry data that then becomes the exit data for the other country. In future phases, CBP and INM will expand the pilot to share biographic information on all travelers.
The process of sharing personal information will be done in accordance with each country’s privacy laws and policies. As part of the legal framework for the data sharing, CBP and INM signed the Implementing Arrangement Regarding the Sharing of Border Crossing Data on Aug. 30 to enhance cooperation and improve each country’s capacity to generate biographic entry and exit records.