WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to expedite processing times at the Guam International Airport and other ports of entry in Guam and in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The bill would establish a mechanism to provide additional resources to CBP to enhance visitor arrivals. Her bill would establish an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) for the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program and direct revenue from the established system to fund operations and staffing needs at ports of entry in Guam and the CNMI.
Bordallo’s bill would help to reduce long visitor immigration wait times on Guam, which at times has exceeded two and a half hours. She has worked closely with the Guam Visitors Bureau, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and other industry stakeholders to address these long wait times. Her bill would transition two manual forms that foreign visitors are required to complete when traveling to Guam and provide for travel authorization via an electronic system. The bill would significantly enhance immigration processing efficiency and provide for a dedicated revenue source to increase CBP capacity to efficiently handle the volume of visitors at Guam International Airport and other ports of entry in Guam and CNMI. The program would mirror the U.S. ESTA program and provide similar authorization specifically for the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program.
“An electronic system for visitors under the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program is an innovative, sustainable, common-sense, and cost-saving solution that will modernize and improve the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program. I have been very concerned about the long wait times that many visitors experience when arriving at the Guam Airport or other ports of entry in Guam or the CNMI. I have been working diligently with GVB, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and our other industry stakeholders to address these challenges. This bill is the next step in our efforts and will significantly enhance the visitor arrival experience and provide a dedicated revenue source for CBP to manage the volume of visitors entering our jurisdictions. My bill would help ensure that federal policy enhances economic opportunities and development in our region instead of being an impediment.” (PR)