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January 5, 2004


Digital Tracking at Airports +

The U.S. continues to equate national security with stricter border controls, and today starts to take digital photos and fingerprint images of foreign visitors as they arrive in air and seaports. The new program, called US-VISIT, is launched today. Visitors will be recorded only at arrival, with plans to start tracking departures by the end of the year. The idea is to collect additional information about entrants so that tracking anyone who overstays their visa will be easier, though I don't see how having two digital fingerprints will make much difference in finding and deporting foreign visitors.

Also, most U.S. border crossings take place over land, and the barricading and militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border in the last 10 years has resulted in huge increases in the flow of illegal migration, as this INS report tells us. If anything, stricter border controls encourage would-be visitors to find underground channels to gain entry, thereby making it even harder for our government to screen them for possible terrorist connections. If increasing border control over the last 10 years didn't solve the illegal migration problem, why would it help protect us from terrorists? -amy

You know what this country needs? A wall. A big wall between us and them. Unless it's the "them" from Andorra, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. In which case, we should let them right in, just like US-VISIT. In the meantime, I guess this fingerprint system will help us catch some turnstile jumpers.

Anyway, here's the official page for US-VISIT at the DHS. -adm

categories: War and Security
posted by amy at 11:55 AM | #