Washington, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young has introduced H.R. 5227, a bill that would require delivery by mail of the Transportation Worker Identity Credential (TWIC) if a permanent enrollment center is not accessible by road or is more than 100 miles away.
Per the U.S. Coast Guard, TWIC is a common identification credential which is tamper-resistant and contains the worker’s fingerprint for identification purposes. It is used to improve and increase security at our nation’s ports. In Alaska, 9,325 or 92% of an estimated 10,100 port workers and mariners have already enrolled and about 75 percent of applicants have received their TWIC.
"Much of Alaska’s economy is derived from our ports, whether it be through cruise ships, fishermen, longshoremen, etc," said Rep. Young. "The TWIC is a very important step we are taking to help ensure our nation’s homeland security, however it is unfair to mandate that employees travel and incur personal expenses to obtain this credential. Although some communities have opted to invest in their own equipment and training for a designated ‘Trusted Agent’ to enroll people in the TWIC program, many other communities cannot afford the cost of this equipment and training. This legislation should offer some reprieve to those who are required to have a TWIC so as to lessen the inconveniences and costs associated with it."
Currently Alaskans have four permanent enrollment centers available to them, located in Anchorage, Valdez, Nikiski, and Juneau. Anyone who needs to obtain the TWIC must go in person to one of these locations to apply, and then must go back in person to pick it up, meaning that Alaskans and seasonal workers must travel, at their expense, to one of the four locations twice to get this card