Security Industry Association and Secure Identity & Biometrics Association Form Airport Entry and Exit Working Group

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Airport Entry and Exit Working Group Releases Framework to Help Guide the Department of Homeland Security and Congress Toward Solutions

I am hopeful that formation of the working group will foster the kind of productive public-private sector partnership that is essential to solving our nation’s most pressing challenges.

The Secure Identity & Biometrics Association (SIBA) and the Security Industry Association (SIA) today jointly announce the formation of the Airport Entry and Exit Working Group and release of its Identity and Biometric Entry and Exit Solutions Framework for Airports (Framework).

The purpose of the Framework is to support the important work of the Department of Homeland Security Apex Air Entry and Exit Reengineering (DHS AEER) Project as a key stakeholder, and it urges U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to deploy a cost-effective and efficient airport biometric exit program that adheres to 16 years of federal statutory mandates with congressional oversight and funding.

Speaking to the urgency of a comprehensive biometric entry-exit immigration system, Working Group member James Chaparro, former DHS deputy undersecretary for intelligence, former Immigration and Customs Enforcement assistant director for intelligence, and current executive vice president of strategy at SE Solutions, said this about the urgency of implementing biometric exit now:

"Terrorist threats we face at our borders and ports of entry continue to evolve, and both lawful and unlawful pressures on our borders continue to increase. Better processes to facilitate travel but assure against illegal entry, and good data on overstays, are essential to keep our country safe. Our nation cannot afford to rely on antiquated technology and processes to secure our borders, and improving our biometric entry and exit screening processes should be a top priority in our efforts keep our nation safe."

The Framework makes clear that the implementation of airport biometric exit program and improvements to biometric entry processes are not only doable and capable of meeting essential border control criteria but are long overdue. Janice Kephart, SIBA CEO and a former border counsel to the 9/11 Commission who testified before House Judiciary in November 2013 on the subject, stated the reasons for creating a working group and drafting the Framework:

"SIBA's members are innovators of solutions that protect and secure identity across private and public platforms. The Working Group we have formed includes innovators that have worked with DHS for years on identity solutions, and others responsible for deploying huge biometric border systems overseas. These are the people that know how to develop and deploy holistic identity and biometric solutions that meet the demands of the traveling public, national security and privacy. It is pivotal that the Department of Homeland Security properly engage the Airport Entry and Exit Working Group now so the best biometric entry-exit solutions can be deployed as quickly as possible."

Don Erickson, CEO of SIA, whose mission is act as a primary resource for the global security industry, said this about the formation of the working group and release of the Framework:

"The security industry has a long history of working with other stakeholders to provide technology solutions addressing border security and immigration issues. I am hopeful that formation of the working group will foster the kind of productive public-private sector partnership that is essential to solving our nation’s most pressing challenges."

In addition to SIBA and SIA, the working group consists of private sector companies, including 3M, Abanacle Corp., Accenture Federal Services, Animetrics, Aware Inc., Deloitte & Touche LLP, Document Security Systems (on behalf of the Document Security Alliance), HID Global, Iris ID Systems, L-3 Communications, MorphoTrak (Safran), Pro-Qual IT, Secure Planet, SE Solutions, SITA (Aero), SpeechPro and Vision-Box.

About the Security Industry Association

The Security Industry Association (SIA) (http://www.securityindustry.org) is the leading trade association for electronic and physical security solution providers, with more than 500 innovative member companies representing more than 300,000 security leaders and experts who shape the future of the security industry. SIA protects and advances its members' interests by advocating pro-industry policies and legislation at the federal and state levels; creating open industry standards that enable integration; advancing industry professionalism through education and training; opening global market opportunities; and collaboration with other like-minded organizations. As a proud sponsor of ISC Events expos and conferences, and owner of the Securing New Ground® conference, SIA ensures its members have access to top-level buyers and influencers, as well as unparalleled learning and network opportunities.

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Mickey McCarter