Now, which segment of the US population do you think will resist this initiative?
Visitors' Prints, Photos to Be Taken at Airports
AP - Tuesday, December 23, 2003
DALLAS — Foreigners entering U.S. airports and seaports — except those from Western Europe and a handful of other countries — will soon have their fingerprints scanned and their photographs snapped as part of a new program designed to enhance border security.
The program, to be up and running on Jan. 5 at all 115 airports that handle international flights and 14 major seaports, will let Customs officials instantly check an immigrant or visitor's criminal background.
The program, called US-VISIT, or U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology, will check an estimated 24 million foreigners each year, though some will be repeat visitors.
The only exceptions will be visitors from 28 countries — mostly European nations whose citizens are allowed to come to the United States for up to 90 days without visas.
Inkless fingerprints will be taken and checked instantly against a national digital database for criminal backgrounds and any terrorist lists. The process will be repeated when the foreigners leave the country as an extra security measure and to ensure they complied with visa limitations.
"I think people have come to understand that an increase to security is necessary," said U.S. Homeland Security spokesman Bill Strassberger.
The foreigners will be fingerprinted and photographed when they enter the country.
Strassberger said once screeners become proficient, the extra security will take only 10 to 15 seconds per person. Foreign travelers also will continue to pass through regular Customs points and answer questions.
Photographs will be used to help create a database for law enforcement. The travel data is supposed to be securely stored and made available only to authorized officials on a need-to-know basis.
A similar program is to be installed at 50 land border crossings by the end of next year, Strassberger said.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which has been critical of several steps the Bush administration has taken to track or question foreigners since the terrorist attacks, said it was reserving judgment on the new system.
"The government hasn't explained exactly how it's going to work," said Lee Galernt, the ACLU's senior staff counsel.
The Department of Homeland Security raised the nation's terror-attack warning to its second-highest level on Sunday, but plans to photograph and fingerprint foreigners were in place before that.
Unlike airports, many crossing points have no security and no warning of when travelers will arrive or depart, said Dennis Nixon, president of the International Bank of Commerce-Laredo.
"There has to be a process in place at the borders that can deal consistently with the transient traveler that goes back and forth," Nixon said. "And there are hundreds of millions of people crossing the border each day, so it's a huge logistical difference."
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Heartwarming poetry, tailgators, however if you read the story it has nothing to do with immigrants or immigration (although they should be scrutinized too). The program is for FOREIGN VISITORS that try to abuse their VISAs.
You know, the visitors that come here as spies and terrorists.
See, to conservative Republicans, talk is cheap!
The democrats crack me up. The issue of the day is whether W had insight on an impending attack prior to 9/11. Lets presume he did (which I highly doubt) and took measures to prevent the attack, such as tracking down and expelling visitors here with expired visas or even closing our doors to visitors from hostile countries--the first people to strike down these measures would be the ACLU and democrats.
While its unfortunate its come to this, the government must take whatever measures are necessary to protect its citizens. During this time of elevated risk of terrorism, if we must inconvenience the poor huddled masses who we previously welcomed-until this period of threat has passed-then thats what we must do. The people causing this ARE THE TERRORISTS, not the government. The government is merely reacting to the threat. If you feel this is unfair-and unfortunately it most certainly is to the good people who are now being restricted-then take your protest to the Middle East or the embassies here of the guilty countries who harbor these terrorists.
I watched Lou Dobbs the other night with the president of the AFL-CIO...this guy was crying about the working conditions for immigrants and said, "Immigrant built this country"...Dobbs shot back and said while that was correct, "illegal immigrants did not build this country!!"
|All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:01 PM.|
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2013, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©1999 - 2013, JetsInsider.com LTD