The enhanced tribal card uses RFID technology (Radio Frequency Identification) to allow tribal members to be identified quickly and be given easy passage through land and sea ports of entry into the United States. The enhanced tribal card is equivalent to a United States Passport, according to Marisella Nunez, Pascua Yaqui enrollment/ETC program director. It also can be used as ID in domestic airports
Impetus for the card came after the September 11, 2001 attacks and desire for enhanced border security by the federal Department of Homeland Safety. The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) went into effect in 2009 and required all entrants to the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda through land or seaports to have a U.S. Passport or WHTI-compliant document.
The enhanced tribal card was approved as a WHTI-compliant document in 2011.