Summary: H.R.5848 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.5848. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (07/20/2006)

Western Hemisphere Traveler Improvement Act of 2006 - Amends the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to extend the implementation date for the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

Authorizes the Secretary of State (Secretary) to develop a Passport Card for U.S. citizen travel from the United States to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean countries, and Bermuda. States that such Card shall be deemed to be a U.S. passport for U.S. passport laws and valid for the same period as a U.S. passport.

Sets forth related fee and technology requirement provisions.

Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary to enter into an enrollment demonstration program with at least one state under which: (1) an individual's citizenship status shall be included on a driver's license; (2) there will a communication method with a participating state to verify the citizenship status of an applicant who voluntarily seeks to have citizenship status included on his or her driver's license; (3) an individual's information shall be managed in the same manner as passport application information with no further distribution of such information; and (4) a complying driver's license shall be sufficient to permit the bearer to enter the United States from Canada through at least one designated international border crossing in each participating state.

Authorizes the Secretaries to work with Canadian authorities to certify identification issued by the government of Canada, including a driver's license, as meeting U.S. security requirements. Requires that more U.S. states than Canadian provinces are program participants.

Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to expand expedited processing for repeat travelers to all ports of entry. States that such travelers' identities should be entered into a database of known travelers who have been subjected to in-depth background and watch-list checks to permit border control officers to focus on unknown travelers, potential criminals, and terrorists.

Directs the Commissioner of Customs and Border Patrol to conduct and expand trusted traveler and pilot programs to facilitate expedited processing of U.S. citizens returning from pleasure craft trips in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Bermuda. Requires one such program to be conducted in Florida and modeled on the Canadian Border Boat Landing (I-68) program.

Directs the Secretary to establish: (1) a program to permit U.S. citizens lacking appropriate travel documents to cross the international border and return to the United States for up to 72 hours; or (2) a process to make admissibility determinations respecting such persons.

Authorizes the Secretary to waive travel document requirements for groups of six or more children under adult supervision traveling to Canada or Mexico.

Directs the Secretary to implement an outreach plan to inform U.S. citizens about the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, facilitate acquisition of appropriate travel documentation, and educate U.S. citizens about the requirements for such travel.