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US border agency seeks comment on how to handle biometrics of Ukrainians fleeing war

CBP One app set for expanded use
US border agency seeks comment on how to handle biometrics of Ukrainians fleeing war

The federal U.S. border agency wants to collect information on how it can effectively extend the collection of biometrics through the CBP One app to people from Ukraine in order to issue Advance Travel Authorizations (ATAs) to them.

Customs and Border Protection collects face biometrics to issue ATAs to people from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela, all troubled countries where the governments do not have regular relations with the U.S. The ATA is also used for family reunifications for immigrants from a handful of other Latin American countries.

With President Joe Biden committing to accept 100,000 Ukrainians fleeing the war with Russia, CBP wants to use a similar process to handle their requests.

The agency wants to know if the information it is proposing to collect is really necessary for carrying out its duties. It wants third parties to check its estimates for how much of burden the biometric and biographic data collection would impose, and whether its assumptions and methodology are sound. CBP also asks how it can enhance the quality and usefulness of the data it collects, and if it can minimize the burden of data collection, such as by allowing digital submissions.

The burden could be significant, as CBP is limited to 30,000 authorizations a month for the four countries included in ATAs already.

CBP is seeking comments through November 13, 2023.

The requirement for asylum seekers to book appointments through the CBP One app has been challenged in court by immigrants’ rights groups.

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