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NTA Supports Proposed “Common Sense” Changes to Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative

March 29, 2006

NTA Supports Proposed "Common Sense" Changes to Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative
March 29, 2006 – On March 28, the National Tour Association learned that Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) would be submitting an amendment to immigration-related legislation that would greatly benefit the cross-border travel.


The amendment would soften the requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which requires a passport or other approved documentation, like the "PASS" card, for travel to and from the United States and Canada. Research conducted by the travel industry shows that U.S.-Canadian travel would be harmed significantly if this law remains in force as written.


Senator Dorgan’s amendment, entitled the "Common Sense Cross Border Travel and Security Act of 2006" would include the following provisions, which maintains border safety and security while also benefiting the traveling public:


1. It exempts children under the age of 18 from the WHTI’s passport requirement.
2. It sets a ceiling of $20 for the proposed "PASS" card.
3. It establishes a system of free "day passes" for Americans crossing the U.S./Canadian land border who certify that they were unable to apply in advance for passport cards.


"Senator Dorgan is to be commended for his practical, common sense proposals regarding the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative," stated NTA Legislative Counsel Jim Santini. "NTA will mobilize its Grassroots Action Network to lend support to this critical piece of legislation. The legislation is very consistent with positions taken by NTA since on the onset of this issue. Also, we salute the Business for Economic Security Tourism and Trade coalition and their efforts to bring these proposals to fruition."


The National Tour Association was established in 1951 as a unified voice to fight legislation in the newly formed packaged travel industry. Today, NTA’s government relations activities include monitoring security issues, as well as state and federal legislation and regulatory issues affecting the travel and tourism industry. NTA maintains full-time representation in Washington, D.C., to serve as the association’s voice on Capitol Hill. Additionally, NTA empowers its members to be advocates for the association on the local level, as well as to provide support for NTA’s positions on national priority issues through its Grassroots Action Network. For more information on NTA’s government relations activities, please visit or call 800.682.8886.


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