The U.S. Conference of Mayors
2007 ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS
TOURISM, ARTS, PARKS ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORTS

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE TRAVEL INITIATIVE (WHTI)

WHEREAS, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) is an important measure for securing our nation's borders and protecting America's cities and citizens; and

WHEREAS, it is important that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State have sufficient time to securely and efficiently implement these regulations at our land and sea borders; and

WHEREAS, Canada is our largest trading partner and closest ally, accounting for more than 30 percent of all inbound travel to the U.S.; and

WHEREAS, Congress passed and the President signed into law FY2007 DHS Appropriations bill, which included provisions to extend the WHTI deadline at land and sea ports-of-entry until certain criteria, including the proper testing of document technology and infrastructure at the borders, have been met; and

WHEREAS, the FY2007 DHS Appropriations bill granted DHS and the State Department additional time (up to June 1, 2009) to achieve the necessary criteria; and

WHEREAS, the testing phase of an alternative travel document, the passport card, will not be fully tested until (at the earliest) spring 2008; and

WHEREAS, the pilot project in Washington state to enhance driver's licenses as an acceptable and secure document to meet WHTI requirements is still underway; and

WHEREAS, passport demand is exceeding the State Department's ability to facilitate passport issuance in a timely fashion; and

WHEREAS, neither security nor efficiency should be sacrificed at America's borders; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State to utilize the additional time granted by Congress to meet the Congressional criteria and execute a coordinated public-private outreach campaign to potential American and Western Hemisphere travelers before implementing WHTI at land and sea ports-of-entry.

2007 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352
info@usmayors.org