A newly introduced piece of federal border security legislation recognizes how our regional economy depends on the easy flow of people and goods between the United States and Canada.
The Border Security for America Act mandates bio-metric screening at all entry points, but exempts American and Canadian citizens. Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) broke the news about the legislation when he spoke at the Partnership’s most recent Capital Conversations event. Co-sponsoring the legislation, Collins worked directly with House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul of Texas to include the exemption language.
Mandated bio-metric screening – without exemptions for Americans and Canadians – was a part of President Trump’s original executive order on immigration earlier this year. The Buffalo Niagara Partnership and other groups raised serious economic concerns and the measure was dropped as the order was revised.
Without the American and Canadian exemption, biometric testing at our northern border crossings would cripple the flow of over 350,000 people and $2 billion in trade that cross each day. In Buffalo Niagara alone, over $30 billion in trade is passed along our local international bridges between New York and Canada each year.
The Partnership will continue to stay on top of this issue as it moves through Congress.