07.02.18

AHEAD OF JULY 4TH HOLIDAY, SCHUMER LAUNCHES A MAJOR PUSH TO MAKE CROSS-BORDER TRAVEL EASIER AND FASTER FOR WESTERN NEW YORK RESIDENTS; SENATOR SAYS EXPANSION OF NEXUS PROGRAM TO BUFFALO NIAGARA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT WOULD MAKE PROGRAM MORE ACCESSIBLE FOR WNY RESIDENTS AND REDUCE EGREGIOUS WAIT TIMES AT WNY BRIDGES

Senator Says Holiday Weekend Wait Times At The Border And At Airport Security Can Be A Nightmare; Nexus Card Holders Cross Border More Quickly And Can Take Advantage Of TSA Precheck Lines At The Airport 

Schumer Will Urge U.S. Customs and Border Protection To Work with Canada Border Services Agency To Approve an Additional Nexus Enrollment Center, and Work with NFTA, the Peace Bridge Authority, and the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission to Make Nexus Expansion Plan a Reality 

Schumer to CBP: Why Wait? Approve Buffalo’s Plan For A New, Accessible, & Improved Nexus Enrollment Center  

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today called on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to work with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to establish a new Nexus enrollment center site at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BNIA).  According to Schumer, establishing an enrollment center at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport would make it much easier for residents of Western New York to take advantage of the Nexus and Global Entry programs, which provide expedited security screening for low-risk, pre-screened travelers to cross back and forth from Canada.

 “Cross-border tourism and commerce are essential to the Western New York economy. The Nexus program keeps our border crossings safer and makes them more efficient, allowing Canadians and Americans to move back and forth between our two countries. That is why I am calling on U.S. Customs and Border Protection to work together with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to bring a new Nexus Program Enrollment Center here to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.,” said Senator Schumer. “Having a new Nexus location at the airport will enable many more travelers to sign up for this time-saving border security program. I strongly believe the federal government should be doing everything possible to make Northern border travel easier for Western New York residents and visitors, while still maintaining a high level of security. This program does just that by moving travelers through security more quickly especially during busy summer months and holidays like July 4th, 2018.

Currently, tourists and Buffalo residents who wish to register for the program must travel up to an hour to the enrollment center at the Whirlpool Bridge. Schumer said that having only one enrollment center location with limited parking in Niagara Falls have made it hard for some Western New Yorkers to take advantage of the program. Schumer said he is encouraging CBP to open an additional enrollment center at the airport, which is a centralized location in Western New York with copious parking and top notch security. The new center would help more Western New Yorkers take advantage of the Nexus program, thereby helping create a cheaper  more convenient border crossing experience and reducing wait times without the risk of hampering border security. Additionally, Schumer noted, Nexus card holders are able to take advantage of TSA precheck, making the airport an ideal location.

According to Schumer, the main border crossings often experience congestion, particularly in the summer months, and on Buffalo Bills and Sabres game-days. The Nexus program allows for faster processing and an easier commute, resulting in less congestion and frustration for travelers. Whether it’s visiting a family cottage, shopping, dining, or enjoying the region’s shared natural resources, Southern Ontario is a part life for many Western New York residents. A robust, shared tourism economy benefits both sides of the border, and making Nexus more readily available only serves to further that goal.

Schumer also noted that Nexus is a more affordable option for many Western New York travelers. A NEXUS card enrollment is only $50, which is nearly half the cost of both TSA Pre-check and Global Entry, the benefits of which are included in a NEXUS pass for no additional fee. 

Senator Schumer’s letter to CBP appears below:

Dear Commissioner McAleenan: 

I write today to express my support for the Niagara Frontier Transit Authority’s (NFTA) request for a Nexus Program Enrollment Center at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BNIA).  This facility will increase access to the Nexus program, which serves as a crucial link between the Western New York economy and that of Southern Ontario. Both communities rely on our shared tourism, commerce, and efficient border crossings to support jobs in the region.

Currently, Western New Yorkers who wish to enroll in the Nexus program have to travel to the enrollment center at the Whirlpool Bridge Port of Entry. This is inconvenient for many people due to the accessibility of the location and available parking. In contrast, BNIA is centrally located for most residents of Western New York. In addition to the convenient location, the added benefit of TSA Pre-Check, which is included in the Nexus program, presents additional marketing opportunities.

Nexus is an integral part of the lives of many Western New Yorkers. Those who frequently travel to Canada rely on this program, and our border crossings rely on the program to quickly and efficiently move travelers. The main border crossings often experience congestion, particularly in the summer months, and on Buffalo Bills and Sabres game-days. Nexus allows for faster processing and an easier commute, resulting in less congestion and fewer disgruntled travelers. Whether it’s visiting a campsite, shopping, or enjoying our shared natural resources, Southern Ontario is a part life for many Western New York residents. A robust shared tourism economy benefits both sides of the border, and making Nexus more readily available only serves to further that goal.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

U.S. Senator

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