[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 20 (Tuesday, January 31, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 4822-4824]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-1962]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

[CBP Dec. 12-01]


Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative: Designation of an Approved 
Native American Tribal Card Issued by the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho as an 
Acceptable Document To Denote Identity and Citizenship

AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, DHS.

ACTION: Notice.

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[[Page 4823]]

SUMMARY: This notice announces that the Commissioner of U.S. Customs 
and Border Protection (CBP) is designating an approved Native American 
Tribal Card issued by the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho (Kootenai Tribe) to 
U.S. and Canadian citizens 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 Kootenai Tribe 
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 January 31, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Colleen Manaher, U.S. Customs and 
Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20229, 
(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 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, among other sections of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (CFR), 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 for the purposes of 
entering the United States at a land and sea port of entry. 
Specifically, 8 CFR 235.1(e), as amended by the WHTI land and sea final 
rule, states:
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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.

    Upon the 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. 
The Secretary of Homeland Security will announce, by publication of 
a notice in the Federal Register, documents designated under this 
paragraph. A list of the documents designated under this paragraph 
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will also be made available to the public.

    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.'' \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\ See 8 CFR 212.0. This definition applies to 8 CFR 212.1 and 
235.1.
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    The Secretary has delegated to the Commissioner of 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 allows U.S. federally recognized 
Native American tribes to work with CBP to enter into agreements to 
develop tribal identification 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 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 DHS or the Commissioner of CBP may 
designate the 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. A list of entities issuing WHTI-compliant 
documents and the kind of documents issued is available at http://www.getyouhome.gov.

Kootenai WHTI-Compliant Tribal Card Program

    The Kootenai Tribe has voluntarily established a program to develop 
a WHTI-compliant tribal card that denotes identity and U.S. or Canadian 
citizenship. On March 3, 2009, CBP and the Kootenai Tribe signed 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 Kootenai Tribe who can 
establish identity, tribal membership, and U.S. or Canadian 
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. 
CBP and the Kootenai Tribe finalized a service level agreement on 
December 1, 2009. This service level agreement memorializes the 
technical specifications for the production, issuance and use of the 
card.
    CBP has tested the cards developed by the Kootenai Tribe pursuant 
to the above 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 cards meet the requirements of section 7209 of the IRTPA and are 
acceptable documents to

[[Page 4824]]

denote identity and 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 tribal card as a 
WHTI-compliant document is conditional on compliance with the MOA and 
all related agreements.
    Acceptance and use of the WHTI-compliant tribal card is voluntary 
for tribe members. If an individual is denied a WHTI-compliant 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 
tribal card issued by the Kootenai Tribe in accordance with the MOA and 
all related agreements between the tribe and CBP 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. or 
Canadian citizenship of Kootenai Tribe members who are entering the 
United States from contiguous territory or adjacent islands at land and 
sea ports of entry.

    Dated: January 25, 2012.
David V. Aguilar,
Acting Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
[FR Doc. 2012-1962 Filed 1-30-12; 8:45 am]
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