Regional Impact of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on International Operations and Terrorism of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, One Hundred Ninth Congress, Second Session, May 31, 2006 [open pdf - 176KB]
From the opening statement of John E. Sununu. "We oversee a number of the programs and policies related to how the United States interacts with our neighbors, with other countries, through diplomatic and other programs, and the infrastructure that we have in place to facilitate that security and that diplomatic interaction. Without question, September 11 changed a lot of that infrastructure and the way we view the processes, the procedures, and the systems for interacting with other countries. The September 11 Commission highlighted a number of vulnerabilities we have with respect to security arrangements, and one of the many aspects that they focused upon was the long-standing practice of not requiring a passport of either American or Canadian citizens to cross the common border that we share with Canada. There are, or were, thousands of different combinations of driver's licenses, birth certificates, and other documents that were, in the opinion of the commission, highly susceptible to fraud and something that both illegal immigrants and terrorists could potentially exploit. Congress reacted by implementing or adopting the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which is an attempt to move us to a more secure means of facilitating this cross-border traffic." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Ann Barrett, Henry Goode, Thomas Slade Gorton, Gail Hanson, Robert M. Jacksta, Carl R. Johnson, Jayne O'Connor, John E. Sununu, Jean Charest, France Dionne, and Jim Roche.
S. Hrg. 109-951; Senate Hearing 109-951
Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html