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U.S. Department of State Special Briefing

Washington, DC
April 5, 2005


Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative

(2:10 p.m. EDT)

MR. CASEY: Good afternoon everyone. Welcome back for our second briefing of the day. As you know, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 mandated that the U.S. Secretaries of Homeland Security and State develop and implement a plan to require U.S. citizens and foreign nationals to present a passport or other appropriate security identity and citizen document when entering the United States. How we are going about implementing that decision is something that our two briefers will be discussing with you today.

First of all, we have with us Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, Maura Harty; as well as her counterpart from the Department of Homeland Security, Acting Assistant Secretary for Border and Transportation Security Policy and Planning, Elaine Dezenski.

In accordance with the previously arranged rules for this briefing, Assistant Secretary Harty's opening comments will be on camera. After that, I'll ask that the camera be turned off and we'll continue the briefing on-the-record but off-camera as well.

Maura.

AMBASSADOR HARTY: Thank you all very much for coming today. Appreciate the opportunity to be here, and Tom, thank you very much for the introduction. Elaine and I would like to talk today about the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative that Tom just mentioned to you. It's a joint effort, aimed at further strengthening border security and facilitating entry into the United States by legitimate travelers. Through this effort, WHTI, we're also trying to reduce the market in stolen documents, as well as thwart passport identity theft. So it's a lot of different things that we're going to be achieving through the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

This initiative, which was mandated by Congress last December in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, will require all U.S. citizens, Canadians, citizens of Bermuda and Mexico, to have a passport or other accepted secure travel document when entering the United States by January 1, 2008. This initiative, in fact, seeks to standardize documents presented at ports of entry to demonstrate both identity and citizenship.

The plan will include registered traveler type programs to expedite the travel of previously screened and non-travelers, including those that reside in border communities. DHS and the State Department have identified the passport as the principle document of choice; however having said that, other documents or a combination of documents denoting identity and citizenship will also be explored.

Under this initiative, United States citizens traveling to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Canada or Mexico will be required to have a passport or other accepted document that establishes the bearer's identity and nationality to enter or re-enter the United States. Certain foreign nationals who currently are not required to present passports to travel to the United States from countries within the Western Hemisphere, such as Canada or citizens of Bermuda, will also be required to present a passport.

While the goal of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is to strengthen border security and facilitate entry of legitimate travelers into the United States, we do understand that there may be implications for industry, business, the general public or even our own neighbors -- Mexico and Canada. We are committed to working with affected stakeholders as this initiative gets underway.

For this reason, we are proposing to phase in the initiative, providing as much advance notice as possible, to the affected public to enable them to acquire necessary documentation before the deadline.

Phase one will be implemented by December 31, 2005 -- that's this December -- and will affect United States citizens, Canadian citizens and citizens of Bermuda traveling to the United States by air or sea from countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America. That's phase one.

Phase two will be implemented one year later, by December 31, 2006, and will expand the requirement to all travel -- to all travel to the United States from anywhere within the Western Hemisphere by air or sea, including travel from Canada and Mexico.

Phase three will be implemented before the statutory deadline of January 1, 2008, and will institute the new travel document requirements at all air and sea and land border ports of entry.

In order to solicit input from the public on possible alternative documents, DHS and State will within the next few days publish in the Federal Register an advance notice of proposed rule making. More formal rules, reflecting public comments and soliciting further comments as necessary, will be issued this fall.

So we are very much looking for feedback. Both DHS and State recognize the unique issues that this initiative will raise, and we will remain flexible when working with affected communities.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is an important step in protecting homeland security, and DHS and the State Department will use all available resources to implement this travel initiative by the deadline set forth in law.

My colleague from DHS would like to say a few words and then we would be happy to take your questions. Thanks very much.

MS. DEZENSKI: Okay. Thank you, Maura. Let me offer a couple of comments from the DHS prospective on the security aspects. We process about 1.1 million people through our borders every day and as we look at adding additional security layers to our system of systems, we are as concerned about the security piece as we are about the facilitation.

So, Maura mentioned that we're looking at a phased implementation over the next two and half years, focusing first on the air and sea requirements, and then moving to the land borders. And I think that's very reflective of getting ready for that challenge at the land border where we have the most crossings and have the most challenges in terms of making sure that as we add new documentation requirements, we're able to continue to facilitate people through our land borders.

From a security prospective, though, this rulemaking is moving us in the right direction. Essentially what we're asking people to do is think about travel in and out of the U.S. from these areas that we've identified -- and similar to how folks would travel to and from Europe or Asia or other parts of the world. In other words, in this post-9/11 environment, we recognize that the Western Hemisphere travel needs to be looked at in a slightly different light and it means that we need to think about the documentation requirements and how we can get to a higher security baseline. And that's what this regulation or this proposed regulation will do for us.

Now, always recognizing that we want to balance the security with the facilitation piece, I want to offer some details and some additional documents that we are proposing would be equivalent to the passport. This is primarily the case at the land border, so for the first implementation date looking at air and sea requirements, for the end of '05 and the end of '06, the primary document that we think needs to meet that requirement is the passport. But going to the end of '07, beginning of '08, that's where we're getting into the land border issues and where we think we have some flexibility to look at four different documents as being equivalent to the passport.

So what we're proposing at this point is acceptance of what we call the BCC or the Border Crossing Card, which is given to Mexican nationals who are coming across to the U.S. on a regular basis. In order to get a BCC card, you must have a passport, and it's as if you are applying for a visa but you get a BCC instead of the visa. So slightly different requirements that go along with a BCC but we think that would be acceptable at the southern border.

Another card that we think would be equivalent is what we can the SENTRI card. SENTRI is also a program that is utilized to facilitate travelers at the southern border. And in order to obtain a SENTRI card, you need to have some type of proof of citizenship, along with other documentation. You also go through a background check and other types of checks. We think that would be an acceptable form.

Now on the northern border, working with Canada, we have two options. The first would be the NEXUS card. The NEXUS card is also similar to the SENTRI card in that it facilitates travelers, folks who have jobs on the other side of the border, for example, people who are routinely visiting family. And the NEXUS card is also linked to certain documentation requirements. For example, you can provide a passport to get a NEXUS card; you can also provide a birth certificate and other types of documents that would give you that proof of citizenship.

The fourth card that we would be looking at is called the FAST card, or Free and Secure Trade card, and this applies to commercial truck drivers at both the northern and southern borders. Again, it is commercially focused but it has to do with truck drivers coming across the border and facilitating the cargo along with having that enhanced security associated with the driver of that particular truckload.

Again, with the FAST program, we have specific requirements, including background checks, documentation requirements and biometric requirements. So in the advanced -- we're making -- these are the types of documents that we're looking at. As we move forward over the next months and years, we fully anticipate that additional ideas will be coming forward for registered traveler type programs, and that we will continue to look at options as they may become available, whether that's harmonizing within the Department to get to some type of global registered traveler program that could be applied at either border, or looking at specific programs that can be expanded.

So that gives you a sense for the types of things that we're considering, in addition to the passport. And again, that is focused at the land border.

So as we move through the rulemaking process, we'll be interested to hear the comments coming in about other ideas that may help facilitate these implementation requirements. Again, we're trying to get that balance between security and facilitation. And I know that together with the Department of State we're committed to that.

Thank you.

QUESTION: One thing it would be good to have and I don't know whether handouts have this so this is redundant, but whether there are existing numbers, for one, and how many Americans have passports as it is, or what percentage of the population, but whether you have figures for how many Border Crossing Cards there are, how many SENTRI cards, how many people have NEXUS cards and how many people have FAST cards.

AMBASSADOR HARTY: I can do the first one. About 60 million Americans have passports now. We issued about 8.8 million passports last year. I don't have a figure for you on how many BCCs are out there. I can check.

QUESTION: Sixteen or sixty?

AMBASSADOR HARTY: Six-zero. Sorry. Sixty million Americans have passports.

QUESTION: And you expect this to lead to a big boom in how many people apply for passports? Are you encouraging Americans to just go that route?

AMBASSADOR HARTY: Absolutely encouraging Americans. I think we both are encouraging Americans to get passports. We project, again, did 8.8 million in 2004; we're projecting about ten and a half million for this year. And then those projections naturally escalate over the next several years, perhaps as many as 12 million 2006, 14 million in 2007, 17 million in 2008.

There was more to the first question.

MS. DEZENSKI: Right. I don't have the total number for those cards, but I can certainly get that for you before we leave.

QUESTION: Yeah, just on (inaudible) card and the FAST card.

MS. DEZENSKI: Sure.

QUESTION: Passports are not necessarily uniform in some foreign countries -- for example, Canada's upgrading its passport. How do you -- do you accept that a Canadian passport is valid or do you have different requirements on the passport? How do you "marry up" with a country that they have the information on that passport that you're seeking? In very simple terms, there's a bar code now on the modern pass cards -- passports for Canada, but not in the ones that are still eligible but not yet upgraded.

MS. DEZENSKI: Right. Many countries are in the process of upgrading their passports to include new technology with chips and biometrics and biographic information. So, you know, itís in a constant state of evolution. At this point, we do accept the Canadian passport. I mean, we acknowledge that at the border and, you know, we have pretty good training for our Border Patrols so they -- inspectors -- so they understand what they're looking at when it comes into the
-- you know, when someone comes into the country and presents that type of document.

QUESTION: Can you remind me, when a U.S. citizen goes into Canada or Mexico and comes back into the U.S. now, they do have to stop and have a brief little conversation, right?

MS. DEZENSKI: Normally, you have to have some kind of documentation. You have to show a driver's license, for example and that would get you back in. Now, you can also make an oral declaration.

QUESTION: You talked about concerns about, you know, facilitating travel. Won't this make, I mean, at risk of sounding like I'm using your own line -- but won't this make it faster and easier if agents can be trained instead of to look for 50 driver's licenses, they're only looking at one --

AMBASSADOR HARTY: Right. You're hired.

MS. DEZENSKI: Exactly.

(Laughter.)

QUESTION: What is the concern, that this would cause backups or problems? I mean, is there a concern about that? Or wouldn't it --

MS. DEZENSKI: Well, in theory, you're right. It should -- if we get to harmonization of documents, it should make it much easier for our inspectors to take a look at that documentation and facilitate folks either through the border or into secondary if there's some -- if there's some concern.

I think the issue is there's always concern -- when we put out additional documentation requirements, that somehow that will add time onto the trip, it will be an inconvenience for travelers, you know, what do I do if I get to the border and I don't have that document -- those types of issues. So I think we're trying to, you know, to the extent that we can front end this process by getting information out to ensure --

QUESTION: (Inaudible) on the front-end, they've got to go get a passport. But once they have it --

AMBASSADOR HARTY: Okay, I got to step in there. I don't think it's that inconvenient.

QUESTION: Okay.

AMBASSADOR HARTY: There are 6,000 passport acceptance facilities across the United States. They are at clerks of court, public libraries and post offices. And it's a pretty easy and a pretty transparent process and I --

QUESTION: For a family of five it'll be about five hundred bucks, right?

AMBASSADOR HARTY: Well, it is -- certainly there is a fee to this --

QUESTION: It's not cheap.

AMBASSADOR HARTY: Yeah. It's not cheap but a passport is good, 16 years and older, for 10 years. Everybody in the room renews their driver's license much more -- much more often than that.

QUESTION: I wonder if I can follow up to that line of questioning. To turn it on its head and in layman's terms, right now you can use a driver's license to go to Canada. Under these new rules, you won't be able to, is that right?

AMBASSADOR HARTY: To go to Canada or to come back from Canada? Because we're not speaking about what -- we're not speaking about if we --

QUESTION: Do it both ways.

AMBASSADOR HARTY: -- do it both ways. I think, I'm jumping into your question but an inspector who has confidence in the integrity of the documents he or she sees is going to, I think, have a quicker and a more efficient inspection. I would frankly prefer for myself to have a document that I can present at any port of entry in the United States and overseas as well that is machine-readable, that is sort of transparent, that doesn't have to cause me to have an extended conversation about what I'm doing. This is facilitative of travel because it is going to take a lot of the mystery out.

QUESTION: Well, that's -- that's --

AMBASSADOR HARTY: As you said this morning --

QUESTION: That's where you're going and that's putting in an argument to change, but I'm asking the current situation -- one can use a driver's license now and one won't be able to use a driver's license under this new regulation.

AMBASSADOR HARTY: One is, through the WHTI, attempting to increase the security of our country through a document that is much more able to present to an inspector at a port of entry -- and I'm sorry, again, to be talking for you, Elaine -- that the person to whom the travel document was issued is actually the person standing in front of them and vice versa. We are talking about enhancing security, and in that enhancement, we will be facilitating legitimate travel as well.

MS. DEZENSKI: I would only add one aspect to answer your question and that is, we don't control what the Canadians ask of us as we go into their country. That's purely their domain, but under these new requirements, if a U.S. citizen wants to come back into the U.S., then they will have to have that document.

QUESTION: If a U.S. citizen comes back into the United States from Canada or, for that matter, a non-citizen with a license from Washington, D.C., or Virginia -- as you know, there are illegal immigrants who have driver's licenses. How do you control, now, the process for coming back into this country if you don't require proof of citizenship for someone from Syria or Lebanon?

MS. DEZENSKI: Well, that's a different issue. If you're a third-party national coming in at the land border --

QUESTION: Just (inaudible) driver's license, it doesn't say where you come from.

MS. DEZENSKI: Well, that's why we train our border inspectors to look for anomalies. I mean, it's perhaps not as difficult as you might think to make a discernment on someone of -- coming from a country other than the U.S., so --

QUESTION: So if they're suspicious, then they would ask for a passport. Is that what they do?

MS. DEZENSKI: Well, it depends on what country you're arriving from. There are different document requirements, so it just depends. And if there were some suspicion about some falsification -- for example, if we don't think your driver's license is a legitimate document, we would likely refer you to secondary, where there would be a much more intensive review of your credentials and we would be doing some additional checks on that person.

QUESTION: To follow up on that, there are a lot -- as you know, there's a concern about falsified driver's licenses. What's to say that some of these passports couldn't be falsified and what kinds of safeguards are being taken against that? And also, I wonder if you both could speak a little bit more about the security issue and what exactly -- what kind of security concerns are we seeing from allies like Canada, where we've generally had an open-borders policy?

MS. DEZENSKI: You want to take the passport issue?

AMBASSADOR HARTY: We've seen -- you've seen, and covered, I think, abundantly -- and I'm happy for that, indeed, for increased security and increased document integrity. Matter of fact, State and DHS together rarely, singly or together, visit with a foreign entity without touching that very point, that the better and more secure documents are, the better and more easy it is to facilitate legitimate travel by legitimate travelers.

For our part, the U.S. Government is building a better passport right now, and, of course, you have seen, with respect to the Visa Waiver countries as a start how we are also pushing the participants of the Visa Waiver program to build better passports now. The inclusion is, Elaine already mentioned, of biometrics -- a very positive step in the right direction to more closely identify the person bearing a passport with that actual document; is this person the person to whom the document was issued. And so we are constantly striving to not only achieve greater security and integrity of our own documents, but striving to have other countries do that very same thing and that will continue.

Now, with respect to other citizens who come in outside the Visa Waiver program, in the last several years in the post-9/11 environment, we have greatly increased, in any number of ways, the security and the integrity of the U.S. visa process. We have a very robust partnership with DHS so that the information-sharing for foreigners who come to the United States with a U.S. visa are people that we can both access information about, even simultaneously, to make sure that again and again and again, we're sort of reverse-engineering an onion. We keep on putting layers on in every way that we can, that we hope will be both facilitative of travel as well as will ensure additional security for the United States.

There was more to that first question. I don't know if you --

MS. DEZENSKI: I'll just go back to an earlier comment that I made about thinking differently about travel in the Western Hemisphere. Again, we're getting to the point where we want folks to think about their travel to and from Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Bermuda as equivalent to taking a trip to Europe or Asia. In other words, you need to be able to verify who you are and where you're from and this is --

QUESTION: Right. Is the risk as great as it is from other parts of the world, as it is from the Western Hemisphere? I guess that's what the real question is.

MS. DEZENSKI: I think Congress made a statement on that when they passed the Intelligence Reform Bill and identified this as a loophole, and I think there's agreement that this is the right thing to do. We need to tighten things up.

QUESTION: Can you talk a little bit about your discussions with these countries and just how
-- do you perceive any kind of diplomatic tension or -- you know, you've always -- like we've all said, you've always had these kind of open-door -- you know, policies close to home and now the special status of these countries is being changed. What do you think the diplomatic implications are?

AMBASSADOR HARTY: I don't think there's a country out there, actually, that doesn't sort of realize, as I've had over the last several years in this job, ample opportunities to talk to many, many different foreign counterparts of mine. And again and again and again, the acknowledgment that document security is a critical element of the security of everyone's nationals, whether it's those group of people you happen to be boarding an international flight with -- it's informed by so many different things, but one we can never forget, as Elaine already mentioned, in the context of September 11th, one of the things that we should never forget about that horrific day is that citizens from 90 different countries died that day as well as citizens of our own country.

And so when we build the very best systems that we can to make this country safer, we are making our visitors safer as well.

So I think that you -- we get very positive feedback. You know, the technology sometimes thwarts the efforts that we might want to see a country make. Some of this is a little bit expensive or not so easy to do, but we -- this is a constant and it will continue to be a constant conversation so that I hope the rising tide of enhanced document security ultimately raises all ships to a better place than we were, certainly, on 9/11 than we are today. We will continue with this conversation.

QUESTION: I want to ask -- not to be too obsessed with numbers, but if you -- I think you mentioned how many people are coming across the borders every day. What was it, one million
--

MS. DEZENSKI: 1.1 million.

QUESTION: Come literally across, like, over land borders from Canada and --

MS. DEZENSKI: That's total. All borders -- all ports of entry.

QUESTION: You mean everyone coming in from airplanes all over the place?

MS. DEZENSKI: Right.

QUESTION: Do you have any figures on what the most, the busiest actual Canadian, Mexican borders are and how many people come across those borders? Like the Detroit crossing --

MS. DEZENSKI: We could certainly get that for you. I don't have it with me here.

QUESTION: Do you have any sense of what the difference is in the proportion of those who come daily by land as opposed to those who come by air from these places? Because you -- you're making this distinction on the phase in.

MS. DEZENSKI: It's significantly more at the land borders but I don't have those specific numbers. But we can follow up afterward to get you that.

QUESTION: May I ask a question about processing? You're talking about almost doubling the number of passports that are going to be required or processed by the time the last phasing kicks in. I think the wait time right now is about a month or so. Given the experience that INS has gone through in processing citizenship and visa applications, I think wait times have gone from almost six months to a year to almost two years as a minimum right now. How can you guarantee that those wait times won't be reached as well?

AMBASSADOR HARTY: We've hired a bunch of new people. We're going to continue to hire new people. We've got at least one passport agency on the books to open with another agency within the next several months. We've got robust plans for double shifts at our mega centers. We will continue to watch this very carefully and we will continue to crank out the passports, not sacrificing the quality and certainly not sacrificing the service. We're committed to doing this the right way, which is why we appreciate you all being here today, because I don't want anybody to run out tomorrow and buy a passport because two years and half from now, they're thinking about a trip.

It's a three-phase process, and so to the degree we can count on you to put out this information, and we will continue to make ourselves available and we will continue to advertise in as many different ways as we can because what is once true is always true: an educated applicant is always our biggest ally. If you need a passport quickly, then there is an expedite process and that is certainly going to stay in place and people are very happy with the expedite process. You can turn that bad boy around in some cases in as short as a day, but often no more than three days.

QUESTION: Do you anticipate, let's say that we don't do a good job at getting the word out. I mean, what will --

AMBASSADOR HARTY: I have total faith in you. Okay? (Laughter.)

QUESTION: What will overwhelm you? I mean, what level do you believe that you might get swamped in so many applications that the process would get hurt?

AMBASSADOR HARTY: Well, I don't know that that's a metric -- that that is a metric that is particularly useful now if I gave you a number and then tomorrow it goes up by one. Will I panic? No. I'll just work harder. We have a system that is extraordinary. There are 16 passport agencies across this country. There are, what, 1,100 people working in passport agencies? Eleven hundred people now -- we've got on the books for another 500 over the next year. We're up for this. We're ready for this. We have an obligation to do this and so we will do it.

QUESTION: These people are being hired specifically because of --

AMBASSADOR HARTY: Because of -- because we see this demand coming and we have a public service responsibility.

QUESTION: Once we get -- I'm a little more curious about the American citizens coming back in and having to show their passport and what the border agent will do with that passport. Once our passports have the chips in them, will the border agents just be looking at them or will they be machine reading them?

MS. DEZENSKI: Maura, do you want to handle what the passport will look like and I'll talk about the inspectors?

AMBASSADOR HARTY: Okay. Very quickly. Back up a little bit. Here's a prototype of a new passport. It will have a contactless chip in the back cover of the passport. I won't speak to how the inspector will use this because the passport will continue to be as it has been for a number of years, also machine readable, okay. So you have two different bites of that apple, in addition to the always standard, I'm going to look at you and look at you and tell whether or not that is in fact the same person, okay. The information on the chip is in fact the same information and no more or no less than the information already available.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) they need new infrastructure put in place? Is it going to cost the government a lot of money to put machines in where they don't exist now on coming back in?

MS. DEZENSKI: Right. That's a good question. We're looking at that as part of the economic evaluation that will go along with the final rule. We're still getting a handle on some of the numbers to be able to sort of look at what the trends will be and whether we need to deploy some additional equipment. Right now, we do have the capability to read passports at secondary. We also, as you know, have the deployment of U.S.-VISIT going on at the land borders and both an entry and an exit system, which obviously doesn't apply to U.S. citizens, but there is -- we're putting readers out into the field and the idea, of course, is to get to a point where we have one reader that can read all documents. That's the goal, so --

QUESTION: Right, but these are only at secondary, though. In most cases, the passport would be just eyeballed by the -- just --

MS. DEZENSKI: Well, right now, we only have that capability at secondary, but obviously, this is something we're going to be looking at as we get to full implementation.

QUESTION: Okay.

QUESTION: What did it mean, Ms. Harty, when you said that we are committed to work with affected parties, talking about business and so on? I mean, where is the give in this? I mean, what is it that --

AMBASSADOR HARTY: Well, we've put out a -- we didn't put out a final rule. We've put out, or will within the next several days, publish for comment and listen to affected parties' recommendations they might have. That's precisely why we didn't put out a final rule. We need to know that -- we'd like people to understand we do not believe we have all the wisdom here and if there's something that is a useful suggestion that -- or there is an unintended consequence to something that we've done that we can, in some way, ameliorate, that's what's out there. This is the beginning of a conversation. There's a 60-day comment period. We welcome the comments.

QUESTION: When might the final rule come about, then?

AMBASSADOR HARTY: In the fall. You know, we've sort of -- we'll get it out a little bit faster depending -- or a little bit more slowly depending on how many comments we get.

QUESTION: What are the kind of modifications you could make? I mean, you're not going to change the deadlines, I assume, right? I mean --

AMBASSADOR HARTY: Well, the 2008 deadline is in law, but we just need to be open to what other folks say to us. And as Elaine already mentioned earlier, there are other documents available in addition to the passport and we're -- a little bit of an open mind still until we hear the comments back, until we publish a final rule together and after close consultation and after giving stakeholders an opportunity to comment.

QUESTION: The other cards, the BCC and the others, do you get those at American embassies and consulates in Canada and Mexico, or do you get them somewhere else or here or --

AMBASSADOR HARTY: BCC in consulates in Mexico

QUESTION: And the others?

MS. DEZENSKI: And the rest you can either apply for in person -- for example, with the SENTRI, you apply at either Otay Mesa or Laredo, I think. And on the NEXUS card and the FAST card, you can either apply by the web or actually go into an enrollment center. In all three cases, though, at some point, you have to meet with an inspector and go through an interview process. So it depends on the card, to an extent.

QUESTION: Are these cards -- if I understand properly, these cards for, like, say for Canadian citizens, they are for people who travel across the border pretty frequently, right?

MS. DEZENSKI: Correct.

QUESTION: And will they include -- are we likely to see a lot more biometrics identification in the future associated with these cards?

MS. DEZENSKI: I think that's the general trend, no matter what type of credential we're talking about. I mentioned earlier that we're looking at the harmonization of these types of registered traveler programs within the Department, because we would like to get to a point where we have, for example, a global enrollment standard. It makes it easier, both from our side and from the passenger's side. And we will certainly be looking at biometrics and other types of technologies as they come out. And some of these cards already require certain types of biometrics. For example, we take fingerprints in the case of the FAST drivers.

MR CASEY: I think we have time for just one more. Why don't we go to Elise.

QUESTION: Just to be clear, those four documents that you were talking about, you say you might consider them. You don't necessarily know if you will; you think that they might be appropriate, but right now, it's just going to be the passport.

MS. DEZENSKI: It's -- well, it's -- you have to put it in the context of the advance notice of proposed rulemaking. Everything is proposed until it's final. So at this point, we're proposing that these four documents would be equivalent and could be utilized. Now, we'll see what kind of comments we get back. We'll see what other types of documentation might be suggested and we'll go from there.

QUESTION: But the three phases are not proposed; that's going to be law, that's going to be --

AMBASSADOR HARTY: 2008 is law.

MR. CASEY: Thanks, everyone.

2005/382

Released on April 5, 2005



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