Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative: Designation of an Approved Native American Tribal Card Issued by the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community as an Acceptable Document To Denote Identity and Citizenship for Entry in the United States at Land and Sea Ports of Entry

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 247 (Thursday, December 26, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 247 (Thursday, December 26, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 70984-70986]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-27721]
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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
[CBP Dec. 19-13]
Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative: Designation of an Approved
Native American Tribal Card Issued by the Swinomish Indian Tribal
Community as an Acceptable Document To Denote Identity and Citizenship
for Entry in the United States at Land and Sea Ports of Entry
AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS.
ACTION: Notice.
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SUMMARY: This notice announces that the Commissioner of U.S. Customs
and Border Protection is designating an approved Native American tribal
card issued by the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community to U.S. citizen
tribal members as an acceptable travel document for purposes of the
Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. The approved card may be used to
denote identity and citizenship of Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
members entering the United States from contiguous territory or
adjacent islands at land and sea ports of entry.
DATES: This designation will become effective on December 26, 2019.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Colleen Manaher, Executive Director,
Planning, Program Analysis, and Evaluation, Office of Field Operations,
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, via email at
[email protected] or 202-344-3003.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
Background
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative
    Section 7209 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention
Act of 2004 (IRTPA), Public Law 108-458, as amended, required the
Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary), in consultation with the
Secretary of State, to develop and implement a plan to require U.S.
citizens and individuals for whom documentation requirements have
previously been waived under section 212(d)(4)(B) of the Immigration
and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(4)(B)) to present a passport or
other document or combination of documents as the Secretary deems
sufficient to denote identity and citizenship for all travel into the
United States. See 8 U.S.C. 1185 note. On April 3, 2008, the Department
of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of
[[Page 70985]]
State promulgated a joint final rule, effective on June 1, 2009, that
implemented the plan known as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative
(WHTI) at U.S. land and sea ports of entry. See 73 FR 18384 (the WHTI
Land and Sea Final Rule). It amended various sections of the Code of
Federal Regulations (CFR), including 8 CFR 212.0, 212.1, and 235.1. The
WHTI Land and Sea Final Rule specifies the documents that U.S. citizens
and nonimmigrant aliens from Canada, Bermuda, and Mexico are required
to present when entering the United States at land and sea ports of
entry.
    Under the WHTI Land and Sea Final Rule, one type of citizenship and
identity document that may be presented upon entry to the United States
at land and sea ports of entry from contiguous territory or adjacent
islands \1\ is a Native American tribal card that has been designated
as an acceptable document to denote identity and citizenship by the
Secretary, pursuant to section 7209 of IRTPA. Specifically, 8 CFR
235.1(e), as amended by the WHTI Land and Sea Final Rule, provides that
upon designation by the Secretary of Homeland Security of a United
States qualifying tribal entity document as an acceptable document to
denote identity and citizenship for the purposes of entering the United
States, Native Americans may be permitted to present tribal cards upon
entering or seeking admission to the United States according to the
terms of the voluntary agreement entered between the Secretary of
Homeland Security and the tribe. It provides that the Secretary of
Homeland Security will announce, by publication of a notice in the
Federal Register, documents designated under this paragraph. It further
provides that a list of the documents designated under this section
will also be made available to the public.
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    \1\ ``Adjacent islands'' is defined in 8 CFR 212.0 as ``Bermuda
and the islands located in the Caribbean Sea, except Cuba.'' This
definition applies to 8 CFR 212.1 and 235.1.
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    A United States qualifying tribal entity is defined as a tribe,
band, or other group of Native Americans formally recognized by the
United States Government which agrees to meet WHTI document standards.
See 8 CFR 212.0.\2\ Native American tribal cards are also referenced in
8 CFR 235.1(b), which lists the documents U.S. citizens may use to
establish identity and citizenship when entering the United States. See
8 CFR 235.1(b)(7).
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    \2\ This definition applies to 8 CFR 212.1 and 235.1.
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    The Secretary has delegated to the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and
Border Protection (CBP) the authority to designate certain documents as
acceptable border crossing documents for persons arriving in the United
States by land or sea from within the Western Hemisphere, including
certain United States Native American tribal cards. See DHS Delegation
Number 7105 (Revision 00), dated January 16, 2009.
Tribal Card Program
    The WHTI Land and Sea Final Rule allowed U.S. federally recognized
Native American tribes to work with CBP to enter into agreements to
develop tribal ID cards that can be designated as acceptable to
establish identity and citizenship when entering the United States at
land and sea ports of entry from contiguous territory or adjacent
islands. CBP has been working with various U.S. federally recognized
Native American tribes to facilitate the development of such cards.\3\
As part of the process, CBP will enter into one or more agreements with
a U.S. federally recognized tribe that specify the requirements for
developing and issuing WHTI-compliant Native American tribal cards,
including a testing and auditing process to ensure that the cards are
produced and issued in accordance with the terms of the agreements.
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    \3\ The Native American tribal cards qualifying to be a WHTI-
compliant document for border crossing purposes are commonly
referred to as ``Enhanced Tribal Cards'' or ``ETCs.''
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    After production of the cards in accordance with the specified
requirements, and successful testing and auditing by CBP of the cards
and program, the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Commissioner of
CBP may designate the Native American tribal card as an acceptable
WHTI-compliant document for the purpose of establishing identity and
citizenship when entering the United States by land or sea from
contiguous territory or adjacent islands. Such designation will be
announced by publication of a notice in the Federal Register. More
information about WHTI-compliant documents is available at www.cbp.gov/travel.
    The Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona became the first Native American
tribe to have its Native American tribal card designated as a WHTI-
compliant document by the Commissioner of CBP. This designation was
announced in a notice published in the Federal Register on June 9, 2011
(76 FR 33776). Subsequently, the Commissioner of CBP announced the
designation of several other Native American tribal cards as WHTI
compliant documents. See, e.g., the Native American tribal cards of the
Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, 77 FR 4822 (January 31, 2012); the Seneca
Nation of Indians, 80 FR 40076 (July 13, 2015); the Hydaburg
Cooperative Association of Alaska, 81 FR 33686 (May 27, 2016); and the
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, 82 FR 42351 (September 7, 2017).
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community WHTI-Compliant Native American Tribal
Card Program
    The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community has voluntarily established a
program to develop a WHTI-compliant Native American tribal card that
denotes identity and U.S. citizenship. On October 7, 2015, CBP and the
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community entered into a Memorandum of
Agreement (MOA) to develop, issue, test, and evaluate tribal cards to
be used for border crossing purposes. Pursuant to this MOA, the cards
are issued to members of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community who can
establish identity, tribal membership, and U.S. citizenship. The cards
incorporate physical security features acceptable to CBP as well as
facilitative technology allowing for electronic validation of identity,
citizenship, and tribal membership by CBP.\4\
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    \4\ Beginning in 2016, CBP and the Swinomish Indian Tribal
Community entered into additional agreements related to the MOA. CBP
and the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community entered into a Service
Level Agreement (SLA) on September 14, 2016, concerning technical
requirements and support for the production, issuance, and
verification of the Native American tribal cards. CBP and the
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community also entered into an
Interconnection Security Agreement on March 15, 2017, with respect
to individual and organizational security responsibilities for the
protection and handling of unclassified information.
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    CBP has tested the cards developed by the Swinomish Indian Tribal
Community pursuant to the above MOA and related agreements, and has
performed an audit of the tribe's card program. On the basis of these
tests and audit, CBP has determined that the Native American tribal
cards meet the requirements of section 7209 of the IRTPA and are
acceptable documents to denote identity and U.S. citizenship for
purposes of entering the United States at land and sea ports of entry
from contiguous territory or adjacent islands. CBP's continued
acceptance of the Native American tribal card as a WHTI-compliant
document is conditional on compliance with the MOA and related
agreements.
    Acceptance and use of the WHTI-compliant Native American tribal
card
[[Page 70986]]
is voluntary for tribe members. If an individual is denied a WHTI-
compliant Native American tribal card, he or she may still apply for a
passport or other WHTI-compliant document.
Designation
    This notice announces that the Commissioner of CBP designates the
Native American tribal card issued by the Swinomish Indian Tribal
Community in accordance with the MOA and related agreements as an
acceptable WHTI-compliant document pursuant to section 7209 of the
IRTPA and 8 CFR 235.1(e). In accordance with these provisions, the
approved card, if valid and lawfully obtained, may be used to denote
identity and U.S. citizenship of Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
members for the purposes of entering the United States from contiguous
territory or adjacent islands at land and sea ports of entry.
    Dated: December 17, 2019.
Mark A. Morgan,
Acting Commissioner.
[FR Doc. 2019-27721 Filed 12-23-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 9111-14-P