Canadian and US officials have agreed on a tentative plan to implement a ‘pre-clearance’ border crossing system for train passengers, truckers, and other drivers, according to a Toronto Star article by Daniel Dale. The agreement, if approved by US legislators, would ease the flow of traffic between the two countries, which has been clogged since the security ramp-up that occurred after 9/11.
The deal was pushed forward by advocates such as the Canadian Trucking Alliance, and eventually was realized in an agreement between Canada’s Public Safety Minister and America’s Secretary of Homeland Security. The agreement would allow the US to operate pre-clearance sites on Canada’s side of the border, with American agents permitted to carry firearms, but not to make arrests, and of course they would be subject to Canadian law.
It isn’t yet clear exactly how the new pre-clearance system would work in terms of authenticating travellers’ identities, but there is already a similar system in place several Canadian airports that uses iris scanning technology. America has been experimenting with similar systems as well, such as the TSA PreCheck program, though that program recently ran into some speed bumps with respect to privacy concerns.
March 17, 2015 – by Alex Perala