Port of N.Y.-N.J. to participate in TWIC enrollment test
The Port of New York and New Jersey will be one of 10 ports to test the enrollment phase of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential, according to an announcement by Sen. Charles Schumer of New York.
At a House hearing last week, TWIC program director Maurine Fanguy repeatedly stated that the Department of Homeland Security has not identified the 10 most critical ports beyond Wilmington, Del., at which it will begin enrolling maritime industry workers for the high-tech identification cards.
A Schumer spokesman said the Transportation Security Administration informed the senator’s office that the Port of New York and New Jersey was on the list for the pilot program, but that the agency did not disclose the names of the other eight participating ports.
During the enrollment process dockworkers and others with regular business on the waterfront will go to a local enrollment center to apply for a biometric card, have a digital photograph taken and submit fingerprints. The TSA will conduct a security threat assessment that includes a criminal history background check of the applicant before issuing a card in person at the enrollment center.
TSA wants its contractor, Lockheed Martin, to test the process in a limited application to make sure threat assessments can be completed within several days, appeals heard for disqualification and cards issued without disrupting the maritime economy.
The TWIC card is designed to be a uniform access card that workers can use to access any port facility around the country without having to get multiple ID cards.
The DHS is under increasing pressure from Congress to start the TWIC enrollment process, but the department says it will miss the July 1 statutory deadline to do so.