Clarification requested on border tracking system in Trump immigration order

Feb 3, 2017

Congressman Chris Collins has written a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, asking it to examine the biometric entry-exit system announced by the Trump administration for U.S. borders.

The Clarence Republican has joined Buffalo Democrat Congressman Brian Higgins in expressing concerns that the traffic that uses the Peace Bridge would be adversely affected, noting that over $40 billion in bilateral trade crosses the bridge annually and that Canadian tourists spend over $1.6 billion per year.

Credit WBFO News file photo

The controversial immigration executive order signed last week by President Trump does more than ban visitors from some Muslim-majority countries. It also requires a new tracking system for every traveler, including U.S. citizens, that local officials say could cause the Peace Bridge and local economy to suffer.

If Trump's order is carried out, Peace Bridge General Manager Ron Reinas has told WBFO an outbound inspection plaza would have to be built in Buffalo for everyone to stop at before going to Canada.  

"That is dramatically different than what is currently in place,"  said, "and so you would obviously increase the length of time it takes to cross the border."

Collins asked Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to note the differences between the U.S.-Mexican and U.S.-Canadian borders in implementing the system.