U.S. Customs and Border Protection today announced the publication of a notice in the Federal Register designating the Enhanced Tribal Card issued by the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona as a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-approved travel document. (Federal Register Notice)
In the WHTI Land/Sea Final Rule, published April 3, 2008, DHS began allowing all U.S. federally recognized tribes to work with CBP to produce an ETC denoting both citizenship and identity. Under this provision, each interested U.S. federally recognized tribe is allowed to enhance its own tribal specific photo identification document to be distributed to qualifying tribe members in order to comply with WHTI document requirements.
In July 2010, the Department of Homeland Security and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe announced the production of the first ever ETC, which utilizes radio frequency identification technology enabling the electronic verification of the member's identity, tribal membership, and U.S. citizenship.
Since 2009, CBP has also signed Memorandums of Agreement with the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, the Seneca of New York, the Tohono O'odham of Arizona, the Coquille of Oregon, and the Hydaburg of Alaska to develop WHTI-compliant ETCs. CBP is currently working with approximately 15 additional tribes across the country on the ETC initiative.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.