Press Conference with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, Transportation Security Administration Assistant Kip Hawley, and U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Craig Bone [April 25, 2006]   [open pdf - 21KB]

This press release focuses on the issue of our nation's ports. Secretary Chertoff states: "Since September 11th, the United States, and since its formation the Department of Homeland Security, has been putting a lot of focus and a lot of attention on enhancing the security of our nation's ports, Since September 2001, and including the budget request the President has submitted to Congress for fiscal year 2007, the government has either spent or requested $9 billion in spending for maritime security. That's money that goes to the Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection, as well as in grants, to ports for purposes of elevating port security." And he announces "yet another step in DHS plan to implement a comprehensive personnel screening program for port workers nationwide. What this will do is it will elevate security at our ports themselves so that we can be sure that those who enter our ports to do business come for legitimate reasons and not in order to do us harm. What this program will specifically require is that people working in the ports and those who get daily access to port facilities receive background screening and then a tamper-proof biometric credential that will strengthen our security at all of these facilities. We are going to begin to implement this program immediately."

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