PM Skerrit said Dominica in compliance with new US travel standards

PM Skerrit said Dominica in compliance with new US travel standards

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said Dominica is in full compliance with the United States of America (USA) as it relates to a request for identity information sharing for travelers entering that North American country

“Dominica is one but of dozens of countries the United States has asked that same information and I contacted some heads of government in the region and they have gotten the same questions, the same request for information because it is as a result of the legislation of the United States that mandate the US government of asking information from countries,” he said. “What the US has asked for is identity information sharing and they want us to share that information with them.”

In July the US adopted a New Traveler Identity Management, Information Sharing Standards.

The Standards include requirements that foreign countries issue electronic passports conforming to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards, use biometric facial recognition, and track and disclose to the U.S. Government “criminal history record information, including biographic and biometric data” on nationals and permanent and temporary residents of such countries.

Failure to adopt and demonstrate adoption of the Standards, or to provide information to the U.S. Government may result in travel sanctions, including that nationals or “categories of foreign nationals of those countries” may be included in a Presidential proclamation prohibiting their entry into the United States.

Skerrit stated that he did not come up with the questions asked by the US and one of the questions asked was if all passports issued by a government machine readable.

“That is one question the US asked and we answer ‘yes,’” he stated.

He went on to say that the US also asked whether Dominica has electronic passports, “we said no, but we explain to them that we are on the threshold of signing.”

“Because they ask, if not does your government has concrete plans to introduce that electronic passport and the answer to that is yes,” Skerrit said.

He added, “Another question they asked, does the government report loss of stolen passports both issued and blank to Interpol, stolen and lost travel document data base? The answer is yes…”

Furthermore, he noted, “Does your government invalidate documents and the associated document numbers after they are reported lost or stolen or do they remain in circulation?”

He said the answer which was given by the Immigration Department was as soon as the passport is reported stolen it is invalidated.

“I mean these are basic questions and I have no difficulty whatsoever with these questions at all,” he noted.

Skerrit noted further that another question asked by the US was does the government contribute identities of foreign terrorists fighters and their facilitators?

“We said no because we never had such instances,” he said. “We do not have such situations but if such situations were to happen we would certainly provide…”

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