Congressmembers Brian Higgins (D-NY-26) and Bill Huizenga (R-MI-2), along with fellow Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary group members Reps. Rick Larsen (D-WA-02) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA-01), are seeking to engage their Canadian counterparts to help solve underlying issues creating major delays in the NEXUS system.
Higgins’ team said, “Currently, there is a backlog of approximately 334,000 applications for NEXUS, the program intended to prescreen and therefore speed the process of travelers crossing between the U.S. and Canada.”
In a letter to their Canadian counterparts, the U.S. members said, “We write today to request assistance in navigating an issue of mutual concern, the NEXUS backlog and continued closure of Canadian service centers. In an effort to return to, and eventually surpass, pre-pandemic levels of cross-border travel and economic activity, addressing the difficulties with the NEXUS program are a high priority. We hope to encourage open, good faith conversations between the United States and Canada regarding the protections afforded to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Canadian facilities and kindly ask for your assistance to achieve a resolution.
“New applicants for NEXUS, the Trusted Traveler Program for the U.S.-Canada border, are required to undergo in-person interviews with agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Canada Border Services Agency. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, as of Oct. 24, the processing time for new and renewing NEXUS applicants that require review was 494 days (or approximately 16 ½ months). Oftentimes, there are no appointments at the Niagara Falls, New York, enrollment center at all, while residents in some areas are able to receive next-day appointments.”
Higgins recently spoke directly with U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Cohen about the NEXUS situation. In August, he wrote to and had a follow-up conversation with CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus.
The Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group is a bipartisan, bicameral and binational group of leaders committed to working together on issues such as security, trade, tourism and economic opportunity to advance matters of mutual interest to the U.S. and Canada. Members of the group met in Washington, D.C., in September. Higgins and Huizenga serve as U.S. co-chairs.