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H.R. 5536 (109th): Protecting American Commerce and Travel Act of 2006

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jun 6, 2006.

Protecting American Commerce and Travel Act of 2006 - Amends the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to extend the deadline for implementation of the plan to require biometric passports or other secure passports for all travel into the United States by U.S. citizens and by categories of individuals for whom documentation requirements were previously waived.

Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to: (1) establish a process to permit a U.S. citizen who does not possess a passport or other document to re-enter the United States at an international land border of the United States (provides that a U.S. citizen under 16 years shall not be required to present a passport or other document when returning from Canada at any port of entry along the U.S.-Canada international land border); (2) issue to U.S. citizen applicants a North American travel card which shall be a base for expedited traveler programs and be considered sufficient to denote identity and citizenship for travel into the United States by U.S. citizens; and (3) provide for travel card-reading equipment at U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico land border ports of entry.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) merge the Free and Secure Trade program (FAST, a joint United States-Canada program offering pre-authorized importers, carriers, and drivers expedited clearance processes for eligible goods) and the NEXUS program (a joint United States-Canada program designed to simplify border crossings for pre-approved, low risk travelers) dedicated commuter lane system into a single procedure, with common eligibility and security screening requirements, enrollment processes, and sanctions regimes; (2) ensure that the procedures for the NEXUS Highway, NEXUS Marine, and NEXUS Air programs are integrated into such single procedure, and the processes relating to eligibility and security screening are identical to those for the FAST program; (3) integrate databases and information systems to permit any identification card issued to a participant to operate in all locations; (4) design an on-line application process; and (5) develop enrollment plans that do not exceed $20 per card.

Directs the Secretary, in consultation with the government of Canada, to: (1) equip specified border crossings in Michigan, New York, North Dakota, Montana, and Minnesota with NEXUS technology; and (2) create at least six remote and four mobile FAST and NEXUS enrollment centers. States that the program card shall satisfy certain travel document requirements for travel into the United States by U.S. citizens and for individuals whose document requirements have been waived under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Directs the Secretary to establish a single process for conducting security screening and background checks for any of the following programs: (1) the transportation worker identification credential; (2) the security risk determination and related background checks performed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as part of the Department of Transportation hazardous materials endorsement credentialing program; (3) the FAST and NEXUS programs; (4) the secure electronic network for travelers rapid inspection program (SENTRI); and (5) the registered traveler program of the TSA.

Directs the Secretary to conduct a cost-benefit analysis with respect to the issuance and use of North American travel cards and NEXUS and FAST identification cards as documents sufficient on their own when produced to denote identity and citizenship for travel into the United States.