Former Deputy Prime Minister calls on Ottawa to investigate U.S. cancellation of Canadian NEXUS card

The former deputy prime minister who negotiated with the United States on the NEXUS Trusted Traveler Program said the Canadian government should ask the United States to review how the program’s rules are implemented.

John Manley (John Manley) said that he was very surprised to learn how many Canadians had NEXUS cards revoked by US officials, the reasons for partial revocation, and the difficulties Canadians encountered when trying to appeal the lost cards. Surprised.

Manley, who holds the NEXUS card, told CBC News: “It is shocking that the number is so large, and the way it exercises the cancellation power seems to be erratic and unreasonable.”

“This is very disappointing. This is definitely not what (former Secretary of Homeland Security) Tom Ridge and I thought when we made sure that the plan exists.”

Put pressure on, Manley said

Former Liberal Party cabinet minister Manley stated that the Canadian government should use the current US concerns about the closure of the Canadian border to urge the United States to improve the way it runs the plan and appeals procedures.

He said: “We agree with the principles of the rule of law and administrative law in the United States. These principles require that the decisions made are not arbitrary and can be reviewed.” “I think the United States will only change their procedures under pressure from Canada.”

Former Deputy Prime Minister John Manley delivered a speech in Halifax on November 6, 2010. (Andrew Vaughan/Canada Press)

The office of Public Security Secretary Bill Blair declined to comment and referred all questions to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).

CBSA told CBC News that it has no jurisdiction over the actions of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) or its decisions regarding NEXUS membership, and cannot speculate why the U.S. government has revoked far more membership than the Canadian government.

CBSA spokesperson Jacqueline Callin said: “Each agency operates in accordance with different national legislation, has independent evaluation criteria, and accesses different databases when determining the continuing eligibility of members.” She pointed out that only Less than 1% of NEXUS cards have been revoked in the past five years.

Manley’s comments follow a CBC News report that CPB has revoked the NEXUS trusted travel cards of thousands of Canadians in the past five years—three times the number revoked by Canadian authorities.

The NEXUS Trusted Traveler Program was announced in 2002 and is jointly operated by CBSA and CBP. It allows cardholders to quickly pass through customs and quickly pass through the airport. Although many people use the card for cross-border travel, some cardholders mainly use it to reduce waiting time when traveling within Canada.

The U.S. is responsible for 77% of cancellations

CBSA stated that as of May 2021, there are 1.7 million NEXUS card holders. According to CBP, 77% of NEXUS card holders are Canadians, while 21% are Americans and 2% fall into the “other” category.

According to figures obtained by CBC News, although Americans account for less than a quarter of NEXUS members, US officials are responsible for 77% of NEXUS card cancellations.

Canadian and U.S. officials revoked 15,807 NEXUS cards between January 1, 2016 and May 25, 2021. Although the CBSA stated that it revoked 3,591 cards, which accounted for 22% of the number of revocations, US CBP officials revoked 12,216 cards.

CPB spokesperson Rhonda Lawson (Rhonda Lawson) said the agency was unable to say exactly how many of the agency’s revoked cards were held by Canadians and how many were held by Americans.

She said that overall, 70% of the cards revoked by CBSA or CBP are held by Canadians, 26% of revoked cards are held by Americans, and 4% of revoked cards are held by troubled travelers. . “other categories.

The lawyer said the card was revoked due to minor violations

Although some revocations were the result of serious violations of the rules, lawyers argued that some memberships have been revoked due to minor violations or negligence-such as forgotten food in their wallets, travelers who passed the NEXUS line with their grandchildren without a NEXUS card, or The situation of wrong identity.

Lawson said those whose cards have been revoked or whose applications have been rejected by US authorities can appeal to Customs and Border Protection inspectors.

At the same time, the lawyers stated that although Canada has an effective appeal procedure, the CBP Ombudsman Office did not leave a forwarding address when it moved last year, and there were problems with its online portal for submitting appeals.

Manley said this is not good enough.

“As a lawyer, I found that the process of reversing these things without any ability to submit the case to the person in charge is a big drawback. If he is erratic, his decision can be reviewed because it is no longer just a kind of Privilege,” he said. “This is one of the factors that make the border work.”

NEXUS is more popular than expected: Manley

Manley said that the NEXUS program is more popular than expected when it was launched, with the goal of preemptively eliminating low-risk passengers and allowing officials to focus on potential security threats.

He said: “I don’t think this will be such a core component even in our opinion, so you need to build some legal structure around publishing it, but if it needs to be revoked, it needs to be fair.”

Don Davis, deputy public safety commentator of the New Democratic Party, agreed that there should be more transparency and more opportunities for appeals.

“Trusted travelers whose NEXUS cards have been revoked need to know that they have a good reason for being revoked,” he said. “And I think they should explain why their passes have been revoked, and there needs to be some kind of timely and fair procedure to question where there may be legitimate reasons to believe that the revocation is invalid.”

Don Davis, deputy public safety commentator of the New Democracy Party, said he hopes the Canadian government will ensure that Canadians will not lose their NEXUS cards due to ethnic or religious characterization. (Adrian Wilder/Canada Press)

Davis said that the Canadian government should take action.

“Because it is jointly managed by the two governments and it is a systemic problem…I think this requires a systematic response from the government to the government,” he said.

Davis said he also wants the government to ensure that NEXUS membership will not be revoked because of someone’s race or religion.

“In some cases, I think race and religion and assumptions about race and politics may be a factor in border decisions,” he said. “And I think this is something the Canadian government needs to investigate and make sure that this is not the case here.

“If there is a legitimate security issue, revoking your NEXUS privilege is one thing. If some kind of illegal analysis is underway, it is another matter.”

Conservative public safety commentator Shannon Stubbs said Canadians whose NEXUS cards have been revoked should receive guidance and a clear appeal decision.

“The Conservative Party of Canada calls on the Liberal Party to work with its American counterparts to ensure that there is a clear appeal process that respects the needs of cross-border communities, workers and all Canadian travelers,” she said.

Elizabeth Thompson’s contact information is [email protected]

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