03 March 2005
U.S. Visitors Find New Look in Passports
New stamp design reflects unified agencies, discourages counterfeiting
Foreign travelers entering the United States are finding a new kind of souvenir from their visit, according to an announcement from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency. Starting March 1, the agency’s border officials will stamp visitors passports with a new seal that reflects creation of the Department of Homeland Security, and creation of the CBP from several predecessor agencies.
The stamp’s ink color has also changed to a two-color red and blue motif as a deterrent to counterfeiting, according to the CBP announcement.
"Officers receive advanced training in detecting fraudulent documents," said CBP Commissioner Robert Bonner. "With this training, they are able to identify anomalies in the stamp and security ink, thus allowing them to stop someone from entering the country through illegal means."
The text of the CBP announcement follows:
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
March 1, 2005
U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION ANNOUNCES NEW ADMISSION STAMP DESIGN FOR U.S. VISITORS
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) today announced that beginning March 1, 2005, travelers to the United States will receive a newly designed admission stamp in their passport. The new stamp was designed with special security features that make it harder for counterfeiters to alter travel documents.
Coinciding with the second anniversary of the formation of U. S. Customs and Border Protection under the Department of Homeland Security, the stamp will no longer indicate the admitting agency as U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Instead the new stamp states "Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection" signifying the merger of portions of the INS, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Border Patrol and the U.S. Customs Service into one unified agency protecting the Nation's borders.
"One of the first things travelers to the United States notice upon arrival is the admission stamp in their passport, reflecting not just their legal admittance but also the responsibility of one agency, Customs and Border Protection, as the guardians of the borders of the United States", said Commissioner Robert Bonner, "For some, the stamp is a symbolic remembrance of their time in the United States, either on holiday or business and for us, it is a recognition that we are one face at the border".
In addition to the new stamp design, travelers will also notice the color of the ink has been changed from its former orange/rust color to that of Red and Blue. The two-color approach was also employed to thwart counterfeiting. "Officers receive advanced training in detecting fraudulent documents" added Mr. Bonner, "With this training, they are able to identify anomalies in the stamp and security ink, thus allowing them to stop someone from entering the country through illegal means." The new stamp will still continue to serve as an indication of lawful admission and will be annotated with the class of admission and authorized period of stay.
The new admission stamp and security ink was successfully tested at the JFK International Airport in New York beginning on January 1, 2005. Upon the completion of the trial period, the remaining ports of entry will begin using the new stamp and ink effective midnight March 1, 2005.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the protection of our nation's borders. CBP unified Customs, Immigration, Agriculture Inspectors, and the Border Patrol into one border agency for the United States.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security