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Native Brief: TUSCON, ARIZONA - Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly met with Pascua Yaqui Tribal Chairman Peter S. Yucupicio, council members and US Customs officials, to discuss Tribal ID Card Issuance Policies, including ways to develop a Navajo tribal ID process to use for border states travel, medical history and tribal enrollment numbers.
"We are interested in having one ID card for tribal citizenship or for a person's medical history and travel purposes allowing us to go into Canada and Mexico," said President Shelly. "It's a priority for our administration, it could help us have an accurate count of our Navajo people."
On June 9, 2011, the Department of Homeland Security and US Customs Border Protection approved the Pascua Yaqui Issued Enhanced Tribal Card in the Federal Register. The Native American tribal card was accepted for use as a tribal identity card and citizenship status meeting the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative for travel within contiguous territory or adjacent islands at land and sea port of entry.
"It's very important for tribal members to move across the border and travel back and forth for ceremonial purposes and our traditional people mostly live in Mexico," said Chairman Yucupicio. "We are the first tribe to produce a card that is under federal regulation."
At the meeting, US Customs and Border Protection Security Program Manager Bonnie Arellano-Seagroves stated it would take a little over a year to get the card issued. "The most important use of the card is that itâ€™s recognized by all 50 states," she remarked. "On a fast track itâ€™ll take about 16 months to produce the ID and policy."
To begin the compliance process, the Navajo Nation's first step would be to develop a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Homeland Security, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative Enhanced Tribal Card "PUSH" Model Service Agreement and the Interconnection Security Agreement.
posted August 8, 2011 6:30 am edt
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