The Department of Homeland Security has begun checking the
backgrounds of about 400,000 workers at the nation’s ports, but that number
does not include truckers – yet.
The background checks are the initial stages of the
Transportation Worker Identification Card program, referred to as the TWIC
program, and include longshoremen and maritime workers employed by facility
owners and operators.
Jarrod Agen, a spokesman for Homeland Security, told “Land
Line Now” that truckers will be included in the formal, more in-depth TWIC
background checks, which will include 750,000 people and could begin by the end
The initial background checks are expected to be complete by
the end of summer and will simply compare the names of the port workers to
terrorist and immigration watch lists.
“This initial check is not as in-depth as the formal TWIC
check will be,” Agen said. “This initial one runs the name against the terror
watch lists and the immigration list to make sure they are of legal
Agen said the timeline for the rest of the TWIC program
depends on a “notice of proposed rulemaking” to be issued in the coming months
by Homeland Security. Once that proposal makes its way through channels and
gains official approval, the TWIC program will begin.
– By Terry Scruton, senior writer
Staff Writer Reed Black contributed to this article.