SUMMARY: Legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate that would ensure CBP personnel assigned to work in Canada would be covered by U. S. law.
For years, NTEU raised concerns regarding CBP’s proposals to expand preclearance and pre-inspection operations in Canada. NTEU sought protections for CBP personnel assigned to work in Canada during deliberations over the “Beyond the Border” initiative. One of the many issues of concern to NTEU members is the question of legal authorities under which CBP employees would operate at these new preclearance/pre-inspection port operations in Canada. NTEU worked hard to make sure that, under the “Beyond the Border” agreement, any incidents involving U.S. personnel on the job in Canada are handled under U.S. law, not Canadian law.
This week, bills were introduced in the House and Senate, H.R. 4657 and S. 2612, that will make this change in law. Passage of this legislation is a necessary prerequisite to full implementation of the “Beyond the Border” Action Plan that was signed by the two governments in March 2015.
The bill, known as the Promoting Travel, Commerce, and National Security Act, was introduced in the Senate by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). The other original cosponsors of the Senate bill are Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Ron Johnson
(R-WI), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Patty Murray
(D-WA), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Bipartisan companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives, led by Representatives Annie Kuster (D-NH) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY).
NTEU will continue to work with CBP and Congress on concerns regarding the expansion of preclearance and pre-inspection facilities operated by CBP at land, rail, marine and air ports of departure in Canada as the “Beyond the Border” Action Plan moves forward.