Menendez, Perdue, Gillibrand, Speier, Woodall Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Secure Mail Initiative Act


U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) today reintroduced the Strengthening the Department of Homeland Security Secure Mail Initiative (SECURE) Act, bipartisan legislation to help ensure and verify delivery of sensitive immigration-related documents by giving the person to whom a document is sent the option to have the U.S. Postal Service hold for pickup or require signature confirmation for delivery, provided that the recipient pays for any additional cost. U.S. Representatives Jackie Speier (Calif.-13) and Rob Woodall (Ga.-07) introduced a companion bill today in the House.

"From green cards, to travel documents, and employment authorizations, it is imperative we have reliable ways to guarantee that immigration documents from the Department of Homeland Security are not only delivered to the correct address but are also safely and timely received by the addressee," said Sen. Menendez. "At a time when any immigration mix-up may qualify an individual to be prioritized for deportation, this legislation is an important step towards reducing unnecessary disruption in the lives of immigrant families."

"When sensitive immigration documents such as green cards, travel papers, and employment authorizations wind up in the wrong hands the consequences for families can be dire," said Sen. Perdue. "These situations are easily avoidable with simple safety measures like signature confirmation or in-person pick up options. By making these options available within the Secure Mail Initiative, DHS and USPS will be able to provide peace of mind and more effective service to customers."

"Too many New Yorkers who have gone through the long process of applying for their green cards or work permits have had the rug pulled out from under them when their I.D. card was lost in the mail," said Sen. Gillibrand. "This bill would make sure that green cards and work permits end up in the right hands and enable New York immigrants to keep their hard-earned I.D. cards safe."

"I am proud to be a joint author, along with Congressman Woodall and our Senate counterparts, of the Secure Mail Initiative Act. This bipartisan and bicameral legislation will ensure that immigration documents safely reach their intended destination, saving the recipients from suffering massive financial burdens and keeping sensitive documents from the hands of terrorists or human traffickers," Rep. Speier said.

"Good public policy can always be traced back to good public service, and that's certainly true of this bill," said Rep. Woodall. "On many occasions I've worked with constituents in my district who have directly experienced the personal and financial damage that occurs when their requested USCIS documents do not arrive. I'm always happy to help constituents recover these vital documents on a case-by-case basis, but this joint effort addresses the underlying problem by offering applicants a mechanism that prevents them from being lost in the first place. I was proud to partner with Rep. Speier in this effort last Congress -- where it was passed unanimously by the House -- and I welcome the opportunity to work with colleagues in both Chambers and on each side of the aisle to move it to the President's desk this Congress."

Too often, important documents have been confirmed as delivered to a specific address, but not necessarily received by the addressee. The bill amends the Secure Mail Initiative, created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) to help deliver sensitive immigration documents, to ensure that the proper person receives their documents rather than it just being delivered to the right address. A copy of the SECURE Act can be found here.