McAllister Yard, NYC.

McAllister Yard, NYC.
McAllister Yard, NYC. Courtesy, Capt. Paul Brown

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

HR 3586 Sec. 12, TWIC Provisions

Our colleague Patrick Coyle at Chemical Facility Security News (http://chemical-facility-security-news.blogspot.com/2016/04/house-to-consider-hr-3586-today.html) spotted and posted about HR 3586, To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to improve border and maritime security coordination in the Department of Homeland Security, and for other purposes. The bill is at https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/hr3586/BILLS-114hr3586rh.pdf
Mr. Coyle expects that the bill will pass with substantial bipartisan support today, and will probably be taken up by the Senate under their unanimous consent process, without debate and no vote. A discussion of the TWIC provisions is below, followed by the full text of Sec. 12, the section dealing with TWIC.

The bill requires DHS to publish a list of documents that will  identify non-United States citizen TWIC applicants and verify the immigration statuses of such applicants by requiring each such applicant to produce a document or  documents that demonstrate (i) identity; and  (ii) proof of lawful presence in the United States. The bill also requires DHS to enhance training requirements to ensure that trusted agents at transportation security card enrollment centers receive training to identify fraudulent documents.

There are two parts to Sec. 12:  #1, strengthening procedures so that the card cannot be used by illegal aliens and #2, requiring a report from DHS on the appeals process. (The section title states “waiver and appeals” but only the appeal process is addressed in the bill and the two processes are entirely apples and oranges. I don’t have any figures and this is just an informed guess but I am betting that there are many more waivers filed than appeals.)

It is unclear what else DHS needs to do to about non-United States citizen TWIC applicants. There is already a procedure in place for foreign nationals who need a TWIC. They need to obtain a TWIC-annotated B-1 visa. From the TSA TWIC website:

“What is the TWIC annotated B-1 visa and who can apply for one?
Foreign nationals who perform maritime services in the United States and require access to secure areas of facilities and vessels can apply for this type of B-1 visa, specifically designed for the TWIC program. These individuals are required to meet the eligibility requirements set forth by the Department of State for a B-1 visa (‘Temporary Visitor for Business’) and are required to provide an official letter from their employer stating that a TWIC is required to perform the individual’s job in the maritime industry.
This letter must be provided to the relevant U.S. Embassy or Consulate as part of the individual’s visa application. The employer letter must contain details such as the type of work performed by the individual, the location and duration of the work, as well as employer contact information is required if additional information or follow up is necessary.”

NLT 90 days after the bill is passed, DHS must provide to the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate information on  (1) The average time for the completion of an appeal under the appeals process; (2) The most common reasons for any delays at each step in such process;  (3) Recommendations on how to resolve any such delays as expeditiously as possible.

Text of this section:

SEC. 12. TRANSPORTATION WORKER IDENTIFICATION CREDENTIAL WAIVER AND APPEALS PROCESS.
(a) IN GENERAL.—Section 70105 of title 46, United 18 States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

 ‘‘(r) SECURING THE TRANSPORTATION WORKER IDENTIFICATION CREDENTIAL AGAINST USE BY UNAUTHORIZED ALIENS.—  

‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary, acting  through the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, shall seek to strengthen the integrity of transportation security cards issued under this section against improper access by an individual who is not lawfully present in the United States.

‘‘(2) COMPONENTS.—In carrying out subsection  (a), the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration shall—

 ‘‘(A) publish a list of documents that will  identify non-United States citizen transportation security card applicants and verify the immigration statuses of such applicants by requiring each such applicant to produce a document or  documents that demonstrate—  
‘‘(i) identity; and  
‘‘(ii) proof of lawful presence in the United States; and

 ‘‘(B) enhance training requirements to ensure that trusted agents at transportation security card enrollment centers receive training to identify fraudulent documents.

 ‘‘(3) EXPIRATION.—A transportation security  card issued under this section expires on the date of  its expiration or on the date on which the individual  to whom such card is issued is no longer lawfully entitled to be present in the United States, whichever is  earlier.’’.

(b) REPORT.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide to the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate information on the following:

 (1) The average time for the completion of an appeal under the appeals process established pursuant to paragraph (4) of subsection (c) of section 70105 of title 46, United States Code.

(2) The most common reasons for any delays at each step in such process.

(3) Recommendations on how to resolve any such delays as expeditiously as possible.



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