NAVIGATION

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Memorandum of Agreement

Memorandum of Agreement

CBP Help/Approval

The U.S. Government has a long historical relationship with the Federally Recognized Tribes.  As a result of this relationship, in the WHTI Land/Sea Final Rule, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) allowed all Tribes to work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to produce an enhanced tribal card.  

 

The Enhanced Tribal Identification Card (collectively termed 'ETC') is the creation of an entirely new type of international travel document for land border entry into the United States.  It is anticipated that ETC will be an acceptable alternative document for U.S. and Canadian Citizens who are members of a U.S. Federally Recognized Tribes.  In 2008, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began reaching out to all U.S. Federally Recognized Tribes to develop, test, issue and evaluate an ETC with facilitative technology for volunteer U.S and Canadian citizens members of a U.S. Federally Recognized Tribe to be used as an alternative document for crossing the land/sea border.  This ETC will meet the statutory citizenship and identity requirements set forth for the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

 

On April 3, 2008, CBP sent a letter to all U.S. Federally Recognized Tribes inviting them to work with CBP to enhance their tribal identification card.  In consultation with the Tribes, CBP created a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) as a starting point for the ETC negotiations.

 

Numerous tribes in the border-states of California, Arizona, Washington, Idaho, North Dakota, Michigan, New York and Maine have engaged CBP in the MOA process.  To date, ten tribes have officially submitted an ETC MOA to CBP.  Of those, CBP has signed an MOA with five tribes - the Kootenai of Idaho, the Pascua Yaqui of Arizona, the Seneca of New York, the Tohono O'odham of Arizona, and the Coquille of Oregon.  All five of these tribes are expected to produce an ETC by September 2011.

 

In the 9/11 Bill, Congress outlined numerous aspects of WHTI that had to be evaluated, including ETC initiative. The ETC MOAs include a provision for CBP to do an valuation  of the Tribe's ETC initiative once card issuance has begun.