Higgins Amendment Ensures Preclearance at the Northern Border Remains Unaffected
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) successfully passed an amendment to H.R. 3488, a bill that sets forth conditions for the Department of Homeland Security to establish preclearance facilities and operations outside of the country. Higgins’ amendment clarified that the new provisions would apply only at airports and not land ports of entry, such as the Peace Bridge.
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Although the bill notes that the requirements do not apply in countries where there are pre-existing preclearance agreements, which would include Canada, Higgins’ amendment will minimize any unintended consequences that might impede the progress that has been made toward implementing preclearance at our land borders, including the Peace Bridge.
CBP’s Preclearance program provides for U.S. border inspection and clearance of commercial air passengers and their goods at 15 locations in six foreign countries. Similar to the inspection an individual would undergo at a U.S. port of entry, preclearance travelers would not have to undergo a second CBP inspection upon arrival in the United States.
Currently, the Peace Bridge is part of a cargo pre-inspection pilot set forth by the Beyond the Border agreement.