< Back to S. 853 (109th Congress, 2005–2006)

Text of the North American Cooperative Security Act

This bill was introduced on April 20, 2005, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Apr 20, 2005 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

II

109th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 853

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

April 20, 2005

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

A BILL

To direct the Secretary of State to establish a program to bolster the mutual security and safety of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the North American Cooperative Security Act.

2.

North American Security Initiative

(a)

In general

The Secretary of State shall enhance the mutual security and safety of the United States, Canada, and Mexico by providing a framework for better management, communication, and coordination between the Governments of North America.

(b)

Responsibilities

In implementing the provisions of this Act, the Secretary of State shall carry out all of the activities described in this Act.

3.

Improving the exchange of information on north american security

(a)

Report

Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, and every 6 months thereafter, the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of Defense, each responsible for their pertinent areas of jurisdiction, shall submit a joint report, to the congressional committees listed under subsection (b) that contains a description of the efforts to carry out this section and sections 4 through 7.

(b)

Appropriate Congressional Committees Defined

The congressional committees listed under this subsection are—

(1)

the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;

(2)

the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate;

(3)

the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives;

(4)

the Select Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives;

(5)

the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate; and

(6)

the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives.

(c)

Contents

A report submitted under subsection (a) shall contain a description of each of the following:

(1)

Security and the movement of goods

The progress of the development and expansion of public-private partnerships to secure the supply chain of goods coming into North America and expedite the movement of low-risk goods, including the status of—

(A)

the Fast and Secure Trade program (referred to in this subsection as FAST) at major crossings, and the progress made in implementing the Fast and Secure Trade program at all remaining commercial crossings between Canada and the United States;

(B)

marketing programs to promote enrollment in FAST;

(C)

finding ways and means of increasing participation in FAST; and

(D)

the implementation of FAST at the international border between Mexico and the United States.

(2)

Cargo security and movement of goods

The progress made in developing and implementing a North American cargo security strategy that creates a common security perimeter by enhancing technical assistance for programs and systems to support advance reporting and risk management of cargo data, improved integrity measures through automated collection of fees, and advance technology to rapidly screen cargo.

(3)

Border wait times

The progress made by the Secretary of State, in consultation with national, provincial, and municipal governments, to—

(A)

reduce waiting times at international border crossings through low-risk land ports of entry facilitating programs, including the status of the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection program (referred to in this section as SENTRI) and the NEXUS program;

(B)

measure and report wait times for commercial and non-commercial traffic at the land ports, and establish compatible performance standards for operating under normal security alert conditions; and

(C)

identify, develop, and deploy new technologies to—

(i)

further advance the shared security goals of Canada, Mexico, and the United States; and

(ii)

promote the legitimate flow of both people and goods across international borders.

(4)

Border infrastructure

Efforts to pursue joint investments in and protection of border infrastructure, including—

(A)

priority ports of entry;

(B)

plans to expand dedicated lanes and approaches and improve border infrastructure in order to meet the objectives of FAST;

(C)

the development of a strategic plan for expanding the number of dedicated FAST lanes at major crossings at the international border between Mexico and the United States; and

(D)

an inventory of border transportation infrastructure in major transportation corridors.

(5)

Security clearances and document integrity

The development of more common or otherwise equivalent enrollment, security, technical, and biometric standards for the issuance, authentication, validation, and repudiation of secure documents, including—

(A)

technical and biometric standards based on best practices and consistent with international standards for the issuance, authentication, validation, and repudiation of travel documents, including—

(i)

passports;

(ii)

visas; and

(iii)

permanent resident cards;

(B)

working with the Governments of Canada and Mexico to encourage foreign governments to enact laws controlling alien smuggling and trafficking, use, and manufacture of fraudulent travel documents and information sharing;

(C)

applying the necessary pressures and support to ensure that other countries meet proper travel document standards and are equally committed to travel document verification before transit to other countries, including the United States; and

(D)

providing technical assistance for the development and maintenance of a national database built upon identified best practices for biometrics associated with visa and travel documents.

(6)

Immigration and visa management

The progress on efforts to share information on high-risk individuals that might attempt to travel to Canada, Mexico, or the United States, including—

(A)

immigration lookout data on high risk individuals by implementing the Statement of Mutual Understanding on Information Sharing, which was signed by Canada and the United States in February 2003; and

(B)

immigration fraud trends and analysis, including asylum and document fraud.

(7)

Visa policy coordination and immigration security

The progress made by the Governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States to enhance North American security by cooperating on visa policy and identifying best practices regarding immigration security, including—

(A)

enhancing consultation among visa issuing officials at consulates or embassies of Canada, Mexico, and the United States throughout the world to share information, trends, and best practices on visa flows;

(B)

comparing the procedures and policies of Canada and the United States related to visitor visa processing, including—

(i)

application process;

(ii)

interview policy;

(iii)

general screening procedures;

(iv)

visa validity;

(v)

quality control measures; and

(vi)

access to appeal or review;

(C)

converging the list of visa waiver countries;

(D)

providing technical assistance for the development and maintenance of a national database built upon identified best practices for biometrics associated with immigration violators;

(E)

developing and implementing a North American immigration security strategy that works toward the development of a common security perimeter by enhancing technical assistance for programs and systems to support advance automated reporting and risk targeting of international passengers;

(F)

the progress made toward sharing information on lost and stolen passports on a real-time basis among immigration or law enforcement officials of the Governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States; and

(G)

the progress made by the Department of State in collecting 10 fingerprints from all visa applicants.

(8)

North american visitor overstay program

The progress made to implement parallel entry-exit tracking systems between Canada and the United States—

(A)

to share information on third country nationals who have overstayed in either country; and

(B)

that respect the privacy laws of each country.

(9)

Terrorist watch lists

The progress made to enhance capacity of the United States to combat terrorism through the coordination of counterterrorism efforts, including—

(A)

bilateral agreements between Canada and the United States and between Mexico and the United States to govern the sharing of terrorist watch list data and to comprehensively enumerate the uses of such data by the governments of each country;

(B)

establishing appropriate linkages between Canada, Mexico, and the United States Terrorist Screening Center; and

(C)

working to explore with foreign governments the establishment of a multilateral watch list mechanism that would facilitate direct coordination between the country that identifies an individual as an individual included on a watch list, and the country that owns such list, including procedures that satisfy the security concerns and are consistent with the privacy and other laws of each participating country.

(10)

Money laundering, income tax evasion, currency smuggling, and alien smuggling

The progress made to improve information sharing and law enforcement cooperation in organized crime, including—

(A)

information sharing and law enforcement cooperation, especially in areas of currency smuggling, money laundering, alien smuggling and trafficking in alcohol, firearms, and explosives;

(B)

implementing the Canada-United States Firearms Trafficking Action Plan;

(C)

the feasibility of formulating a firearms trafficking action plan between Mexico and the United States;

(D)

developing a joint threat assessment on organized crime between Canada and the United States;

(E)

the feasibility of formulating a joint threat assessment on organized crime between Mexico and the United States;

(F)

developing mechanisms to exchange information on findings, seizures, and capture of individuals transporting undeclared currency; and

(G)

developing and implementing a plan to combat the transnational threat of illegal drug trafficking.

(11)

Counterterrorism programs

Enhancements to counterterrorism coordination, including—

(A)

reviewing existing counterterrorism efforts and coordination to maximize effectiveness; and

(B)

identifying best practices regarding the sharing of information and intelligence.

(12)

Law enforcement cooperation

The enhancement of law enforcement cooperation through enhanced technical assistance for the development and maintenance of a national database built upon identified best practices for biometrics associated with known and suspected criminals or terrorists, including—

(A)

exploring the formation of law enforcement teams that include personnel from the United States and Mexico, and appropriate procedures from such teams; and

(B)

assessing the threat and risk of the St. Lawrence Seaway System and the Great Lakes and developing appropriate marine enforcement programs based on the integrated border team framework.

(13)

Biosecurity cooperation

The progress made to increase and promote cooperation in the analysis and assessments of intentional threats to biosecurity, including naturally occurring threats, as well as in the United States prevention and response capacity and plans to respond to these threats, including—

(A)

mapping relationships among key regulatory and border officials to ensure effective cooperation in planning and responding to a biosecurity threat; and

(B)

working jointly in support of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (Public Law 107–188; 116 Stat. 594) to develop a regime that employs a risk management approach to the movement of foods and food products in our countries and across our shared border, and which builds upon and harmonizes with customs processes.

(14)

Protection against nuclear and radiological threats

The progress made to increase cooperation to prevent nuclear and radiological smuggling, including—

(A)

identifying opportunities to increase cooperation to prevent smuggling of nuclear or radioactive materials, including improving export controls for all materials identified on the high-risk sources list maintained by the International Atomic Energy Agency;

(B)

working collectively with other countries to install radiation detection equipment at foreign land crossings to examine cargo destined for North America;

(C)

enhancing border controls through effective technical cooperation and other forms of cooperation to—

(i)

prevent the smuggling of radiological materials; and

(ii)

examine related next-generation equipment;

(D)

enhancing physical protection of nuclear facilities in North America through effective technical and other forms of cooperation; and

(E)

developing a program on physical protection for Mexican nuclear installations that increases the level of the nuclear security culture of those responsible for the physical protection of nuclear installations and transport of nuclear material.

(15)

Emergency management cooperation

The progress made regarding the appropriate coordination of our systems and planning and operational standards for emergency management, including the development of an interoperable communications system or the appropriate coordination of existing systems for Canada, Mexico, and the United States for cross-border incident management.

(16)

Cooperative energy policy

The progress of efforts to—

(A)

increase reliable energy supplies for the region’s needs and development;

(B)

streamline and update regulations concerning energy;

(C)

promote energy efficiency, conservation, and technologies;

(D)

work with the Governments of Canada and Mexico to develop a North American energy alliance to bolster our collective security by increased reliance on North American energy sources; and

(E)

work with the Government of Mexico to—

(i)

increase Mexico’s crude oil and natural gas production by obtaining the technology and financial resources needed by Mexico for energy sector development;

(ii)

attract sufficient private direct investment in the upstream sector, within its constitutional framework, to foster the development of additional crude oil and natural gas production; and

(iii)

attract the private direct investment in the downstream sector, within its domestic legal framework, to foster the development of additional domestic refining capacity to reduce costs for consumers and to move Mexico toward self-sufficiency in meeting its domestic energy needs.

(17)

Feasibility of common external tariff and development assistance to the economy of mexico

The progress of efforts to determine the feasibility of—

(A)

harmonizing external tariffs on a sector-by-sector basis to the lowest prevailing rate consistent with multilateral obligations, with the goal of creating a long-term common external tariff;

(B)

accelerating and expanding the implementation of existing smart border actions plans to facilitate intra-North American travel and commerce;

(C)

working with Mexican authorities to devise a set of policies designed to stimulate the Mexican economy that—

(i)

attracts investment;

(ii)

stimulates growth; and

(iii)

commands broad public support and provides for Mexicans to find jobs in Mexico; and

(D)

working to support the development of Mexican industries, job growth, and appropriate improvements to social services.

4.

Information sharing agreements

The Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Government of Mexico, is authorized to negotiate an agreement with Mexico to—

(1)

cooperate in impeding the ability of third country nationals from using Mexico as a transit corridor for unauthorized entry into the United States; and

(2)

provide technical assistance to support stronger immigration control at the border with Mexico.

5.

Improving the security of Mexico's southern border

(a)

Technical assistance

The Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Government of Mexico, shall establish a program to—

(1)

assess the specific needs of Guatemala and Belize in maintaining the security of the borders of such countries;

(2)

use the assessment made under paragraph (1) to determine the financial and technical support needed by Guatemala and Belize from Canada, Mexico, and the United States to meet such needs;

(3)

provide technical assistance to Guatemala and Belize to secure issuance of passports and travel documents by such countries; and

(4)

encourage Guatemala and Belize to—

(A)

control alien smuggling and trafficking;

(B)

prevent the use and manufacture of fraudulent travel documents; and

(C)

share relevant information with Mexico, Canada, and the United States.

(b)

Immigration

The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and appropriate officials of the Governments of Guatemala and Belize, shall provide robust law enforcement assistance to Guatemala and Belize that specifically addresses migratory issues to increase the ability of the Government of Guatemala to dismantle human smuggling organizations and gain tighter control over the border.

(c)

Border security between Mexico and Guatemala or Belize

The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Government of Mexico, and appropriate officials of the Governments of Guatemala, Belize, and neighboring contiguous countries, shall establish a program to provide needed equipment, technical assistance, and vehicles to manage, regulate, and patrol the international border between Mexico and Guatemala and between Mexico and Belize.

(d)

Tracking central american gangs

The Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Government of Mexico, and appropriate officials of the Governments of Guatemala, Belize, and other Central American countries, shall—

(1)

assess the direct and indirect impact on the United States and Central America on deporting violent criminal aliens;

(2)

establish a program and database to track Central American gang activities, focusing on the identification of returning criminal deportees;

(3)

devise an agreed-upon mechanism for notification applied prior to deportation and for support for reintegration of these deportees; and

(4)

devise an agreement to share all relevant information with the appropriate agencies of Mexico and other Central American countries.

(e)

Aerial interdiction of narcotrafficking through central america and panama

The Secretary of State shall examine the feasibility of entering into an agreement with Panama and the other countries of Central America regarding the aerial interdiction program commonly known as Airbridge Denial.

6.

North American defense institutions

(a)

In general

The Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall examine the feasibility of—

(1)

strengthening institutions for consultations on defense issues among the United States, Mexico, and Canada, specifically through—

(A)

the Joint Interagency Task Force South;

(B)

the Permanent Joint Board on Defense;

(C)

joint-staff talks; and

(D)

senior Army border talks;

(2)

proposing mechanisms to reach agreements with the Government of Canada or Mexico regarding contingency plans for responding to threats along the international borders of the United States;

(3)

in consultation with the Governments of Canada and Mexico, and with input from the United States Northern Command—

(A)

developing bilateral and trilateral capabilities and coordination mechanisms to address common threats along shared borders; and

(B)

work together to clearly define the term threats to only encompass military or defense-related threats, rather than other threats to homeland security;

(4)

offering technical support to willing regional parties to maintain air space security, including consultation mechanisms with the Joint Interagency Task Force and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, to improve security in the North American and Central American space; and

(5)

proposing mechanisms to strengthen communication information and intelligence sharing on defense issues among the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

7.

Repatriation

The Secretary of State shall—

(1)

apply the necessary pressure on, and negotiate with, other countries to accept the International Civil Aviation Organization Annex 9 one-time travel document provided by the United States in lieu of official travel documents if an inadmissible immigrant has not presented official travel documents or has presented fraudulent ones; and

(2)

provide the proper support and international pressure necessary to facilitate the removal of inadmissible aliens from the United States and their repatriation in, or reinstatement by, a responsible country, with a focus on criminal aliens that are deemed particularly dangerous or potential terrorists.