WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced June 3 that the United States and France have established an arrangement to implement the Immigration Advisory Program (IAP).
The policy allows for the identification of high-risk travelers at foreign airports before they board aircraft bound for the United States, at Paris’ Charles De Gaulle International Airport.
“Terrorism is a global threat that requires an international response,” said Napolitano. “This collaboration will enhance both the United States’ and France’s capabilities to protect our immigration systems as well as the global aviation network from abuse by terrorists and transnational criminals.”
IAP allows specialized U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel posted in foreign airports to utilize current targeting and passenger analysis information and/or an assessment of passengers’ documentation to identify high-risk persons bound for the United States and make “no board” recommendations to carriers and host governments.
The arrangement, formalized over the weekend by DHS Assistant Secretary for Policy David Heyman and French Minister of Immigration, Integration, National Identity and Mutually-Supportive Development Eric Besson, will help combat the use of fraudulent travel documents, prevent terrorists and other criminals from entering the United States, disrupt human smuggling and strengthen cooperation between CBP and French officials. A formal signing of the IAP arrangement will follow in August.
Napolitano signed a similar arrangement with Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba on July 1, 2009, implementing IAP at Madrid Barajas International Airport. DHS currently has IAP arrangements with seven countries and operates at nine locations.
In January, Napolitano traveled to Toledo, Spain, to meet with her European counterparts regarding ways to bolster international aviation security measures and standards. The U.S. and E.U. joint declaration on aviation security that resulted from these meetings committed the U.S. and its participating partners to enhancing channels for information sharing, including the utilization and exchange of liaison officers such as the CBP personnel stationed abroad through IAP.