Mexican citizens will soon be eligible to apply for a “trusted traveler” status that will allow them to bypass some elements of airport security when they fly into the United States — a U.S. government-approved program that critics say could be exploited by violent drug cartels.
Under the program, Mexicans who have undergone background checks and are deemed low security risks will be able to fly into major U.S. cities and breeze through customs without being questioned by U.S. Customs agents.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and her Mexican counterparts announced their intent to roll out the program two weeks ago, trumpeting it as evidence of increased information sharing and law enforcement collaboration between the countries.
The program is an expansion of an existing trusted traveler program, the Global Entry Program, which was launched in 2008 and expedites pre-approved passengers through the airport customs and security process when they arrive in the U.S.
The program is designed to weed out low-risk passengers and enable authorities to zero in on those who may be more likely to pose a threat.