WASHINGTON - An experimental bid to rescue the troubled Nexus trusted-traveller program between Canada and the United States has expanded to the Peace Bridge.
New York congressman Rep. Brian Higgins says Nexus applicants in Canada can now sit down with border agents on opposite sides of the link between Fort Erie, Ont., and Buffalo, N.Y.
Growing NEXUS backlog continues to deter travel at the Northern Border.— Brian Higgins (@RepBrianHiggins) December 1, 2022
We applaud the launch of a new pilot program that will expedite NEXUS processing in WNY. It's an important step in creating a seamless process that will increase cross-border travel.https://t.co/QsOoxweV7F
It's an expansion of a pilot project between the Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Thousand Islands crossing near Kingston, Ont.
Instead of meeting U.S. and Canadian agents at the same time, applicants are interviewed first in Canada before crossing the border for a second interview with American officials.
It's a short-term solution to the bilateral impasse that has led to U.S. agents refusing to staff Nexus enrolment centres on Canadian soil over what they consider inadequate legal protection.
Higgins calls the measure an "important stopgap," but adds that the two countries have a long way to go before Nexus is back to its pre-pandemic strength.