TRIBAL BORDER CROSSING PARITY ACT

The manner in which Section 289 of the INA (8 U.S.C. § 1359) is currently written causes members of federally-recognized tribes to be denied entry back into the United States if they are unable to prove they possess 50 percent blood quantum at the border. As federal law recognizes the right of Indian tribes to establish their own standards for citizenship, including methods that do not rely on blood quantum (See Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez, 436 U.S. 49 (1978)), 8 U.S.C. § 1359 is inconsistent with federal law because it relies on blood quantum as a measure of tribal affiliation, rather than proof of membership in a federally recognized tribe. We must put a stop to this institutionalized discrimination, which stems from the Termination Era when the federal government sought to end its government-to-government relationship with tribal governments.

 

Members of federally recognized tribes need Congress to enact the Tribal Border Crossing Parity Act. The bill would amend 8 U.S.C. § 1359 to remove the blood quantum requirement altogether and instead recognize proof of enrollment in a federally recognized tribe when crossing the United States - Canada border.

HOW CAN MY TRIBE ADVOCATE FOR THE

TRIBAL BORDER CROSSING PARITY ACT? 

The JTBA is urging members of federally recognized Tribes and their respective tribal governments located on or near the United States-Canada border to submit letters of support for the legislation to their congressional representatives, the House Judiciary Committee, the Senate Homeland Security Committee, the House Subcommittee on Indigenous Peoples, and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. A draft letter can found below. For assistance in identifying points of contact for relevant offices, please contact Kayla Gebeck Carroll at kayla.gebeck@hklaw.com