US Customs and Border Protection has already turned away two travelers trying to sneak through Preclearance screening locations in Canada. The news comes less than a week after the agency first announced that it would be bringing its Simplified Arrival program to eight Canadian airports that offer flights to the United States.
The Simplified Arrival program uses biometric facial recognition to verify the identities of travelers at border checkpoints. The system compares a new image of each traveler to an image stored on a government database (such as a passport photo) to make sure that the two are a match. Anyone whose face does not match their travel document is directed to a CBP agent for a secondary inspection.
That process allowed CBP to identify an imposter in Toronto, who was caught trying to enter the United States with a passport that belonged to her sister. The agency also apprehended another individual in Vancouver. That person had previously been deported from the US and did not have the travel waiver needed to return, though they have claimed asylum in Canada and were returned to the country after getting caught. The Toronto imposter, on the other hand, was released to Canadian authorities.
The Simplified Arrival program will be deployed at airports in Halifax, Montréal, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Winnipeg in addition to Toronto and Vancouver. The Preclearance program allows travelers to pass through customs before getting on a plane to the United States, negating the need to do it again when they arrive. Bermuda and the Bahamas are some of the other countries that offer Simplified Arrival Preclearance service.
The two travelers are not the first people to be detained at US borders in 2021. CBP spotted an imposter at Dulles International Airport in early January, and then caught a wanted fugitive at the Laredo land border later in the month.
February 22, 2021 – by Eric Weiss