Department of Homeland Security
to execute 400,000 background checks on port workers
Bay City News Service
April 25, 2006
Name-based background checks for some 400,000 longshoremen and
maritime employees of port facility owners and operators will
be conducted in the coming months as part of the Department of
Homeland Security's new, nationwide biometric-based Transportation
Worker Identification Credential program, department Secretary
Michael Chertoff announced today.
The U.S. Coast Guard will gather basic identifying information
for the new required checks and workers' names will be checked
against terrorist watch lists provided by the department's
Terrorist Screening Center.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will also conduct checks
to ensure workers are able to legally work in the U.S.
The checks won't initially include the full criminal background
check that will eventually become part of the TWIC system being
unrolled this year, according to the department.
But ultimately all port employees will require a TWIC in order
to have free access to secure areas.
The Department of Homeland Security is currently working on finding
a contractor to assist with TWIC enrollment.
"We certainly think this is an excellent step in the right
direction" and look forward to the implementation of the
new, comprehensive security screening system, Port of Oakland
spokeswoman Marilyn Sandifer said today.
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