Rep. Green welcomes new TWIC office to district
August 12, 2008
Houston, Texas – U.S. Rep. Gene Green (D-Houston) welcomed the opening of a new enrollment center for the recently-mandated Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program on Thursday. The center is located in Green’s district at 2900 Woodridge Drive near the Gulfgate Center in Houston.
“Trying to plug the security holes at the Port of Houston is daunting because there are so many workers who need access,” Green said. “This additional enrollment center should make the process easier and we’re happy to welcome it to our community.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initially estimated 30,000 workers would need a TWIC at the Port of Houston, but the Port itself has estimated the number is closer to 350,000. Green said he’s glad DHS recognized its initial underestimate and is opening the new office to compensate.
Green’s office said it has been taking DHS six to eight weeks on average to process an application, run a background check, and produce a TWIC for each applicant. The background check includes screening through immigration, criminal and terrorist databases and requires a fingerprint for biometric identification.
Green said he applied for a TWIC because he wanted to experience the same process many of his constituents are required to undergo and because he would like to make his frequent visits to the Port without an escort. "The Port of Houston is the major job creator in our district and now we know with the number of people who need these cards it's the major economic activity for our region."