Pascua Yaqui Issues First Enhanced Tribal Card - Shirley Endorses Jason WillIams
By Kathy Helms
WINDOW ROCK – While the Navajo Nation's Intergovernmental Relations Transition Task Force will be charged with looking at a Navajo Nationwide identification card, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe on Friday became the first tribe in the country to issue an Enhanced Tribal Card.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the tribe jointly announced production of the first ever Enhanced Tribal Card, or ETC, which is designed as a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-compliant document that formally recognizes tribal membership and U.S. citizenship for the purpose of entering the United States through a land or sea port of entry.
“We look forward to continuing to build close partnerships with tribal nations across the country as we work together to make the border crossing process more secure and efficient,” said Secretary Janet Napolitano, former governor of Arizona.
“The Pascua Yaqui Tribe hopes that such a program will enhance the facilitation of ceremonial, family and business travel for our Yaqui members,” said Chairman Peter Yucupicio.
Arizona has come under fire recently for its controversial new immigration law, Senate Bill 1070. Some members of the Navajo Nation Council have expressed fear that Navajos will be arrested on suspicion of being illegal aliens when traveling in the southern end of the state.
The Pascua Yaqui Tribe became the first tribe in Arizona to sign a memorandum of agreement with U.S. Customs and Border Protection for development of an ETC last May. The tribe's enrollment office began issuing the cards to its membership July 26.
The Pascua Yaqui ETC has document security features and radio frequency identification technology to meet the requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. The card will be available to qualifying Pascua Yaqui Tribe members on a voluntary basis, and will include technology enabling the electronic verification of the member’s identity, tribal membership, and U.S. citizenship.
Designation of the ETC as a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-compliant document for entry into the United States by land or sea will be published by Customs and Border Protection through a notice in the Federal Register in the coming months.
The Pascua Yaqui Tribe, located approximately 60 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, has more than 17,000 members, many of whom have relatives residing on both sides of the border. Both the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and its Yaqui cousins in Mexico regularly visit each other for religious, cultural, and tribal purposes.
Since 2009, Customs and Border Protection also has signed memorandums of agreement with the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, the Seneca of New York, the Tohono O’odham of Arizona, and the Coquille of Oregon to develop Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-compliant ETCs.
Customs and Border Protection currently is working with approximately 15 other tribes across the country on the ETC initiative.
Information: http://www.getyouhome.gov/ or http://www.cbp.gov/
Navajo Nation President Endorses Jason Williams
Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley, Jr. has endorsed Jason Williams for Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction.
I am honored to have the support of such a great and nationally-respected leader. President Shirley was inaugurated as President of the Navajo Nation in January 2003. On November 7, 2006, he became the first Navajo president re-elected in 28 years. He is in his 42nd year of public service.
Throughout his administration, Dr. Shirley has tirelessly championed the need for the Navajo Nation to regain the autonomy it once knew as a "proud, fierce and independent" people through education, employment, financial strength and accountability, and the preservation of the Navajo language, culture and way of life. To learn more about President Shirley please visit The Navajo Nation website here.
I look forward to working with President Shirley and all of the leaders and people of the Navajo Nation to ensure all children in Arizona, including our Navajo children, have the educational opportunities they deserve. Together, in accordance with Diné Education Philospohy, we will ensure "our children [are able to] go forth in life endowed with what is required to achieve their ultimate aspirations."
Once again, I thank President Shirley for his support and confidence in my ability to move all of Arizona's children forward. I ask for your support and your vote in the August 24th Democratic primary election. To learn more about my campaign, please visit my website here.
With hope and determination,
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