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US fingerprint & photograph all foreign visitors except those on visa waiver



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 5th, 2004, 10:30 AM
Howard Long
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Default US fingerprint & photograph all foreign visitors except those on visa waiver

Welcome to the USA?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3367893.stm

Visitors face US security checks

Most Europeans are excluded for now

New US security regulations are coming into force that will see most foreign
visitors having their photographs taken and fingerprints checked.
The rules apply to visa holders and cover all but 28 countries.

Those arriving under the visa waiver programme - which includes most
Europeans - are not affected.

The measures replace the old special registration programme, which was said
to discriminate against Muslims and people of Middle Eastern origin.

But claims of discrimination are still being made by some of those countries
whose nationals are affected.

Brazil has made formal complaints and started fingerprinting and
photographing all US citizens arriving at its main international airports.

Instant checks

All 115 US airports that handle international flights and 14 major seaports
are covered by the programme, under which customs officials can instantly
check an immigrant or visitor's criminal background.

A similar programme is to be launched at 50 land border crossings by the end
of next year

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge will formally launch the programme at
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the southern state of
Georgia.

Called US-Visit, or US Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology, it
will check an estimated 24 million foreign visitors who enter the US each
year through airports or seaports on tourist, business and student visas.

Inkless fingerprints will be taken and checked instantly against a national
digital database for criminal backgrounds and any terrorist lists.

Photographs will be used to help create a database for law enforcement.

The process will be repeated when the foreigners leave the country as an
extra security measure, and to ensure they complied with visa limitations.

Fears of delays

Officials in charge of the programme, which has been planned for some time
and has nothing to do with the current high state of alert, say that in the
long run the new checks will make travel formalities quicker to negotiate.

But travel industry analysts warn that the steady tightening of security on
international flights will lead to a corresponding increase in delays and
cancellations.

The US official in charge of the programme, Asa Hutchinson, says that will
not be the case.

"This takes a matter of seconds... we're taking every step to make sure that
this facilitates the passengers that come through our airports and does not
delay them," he said.

There are concerns that the checks could foster ill-feeling.

"You also have look at the costs of these policies... for example, the
special registration programme resulted in 13,000 orders of deportation on
people who tried to register with the government," Tim Edgar of the American
Civil Liberties Union told the BBC's World Today radio programme.

"That kind of response can cause problems with governments around the world
that we are trying to have a better relationship with."

The system was scheduled to begin on 1 January, but was delayed to avoid the
busy holiday travel period.

The visa waiver programme allows citizens from mostly European nations to
visit the US for up to 90 days without visas.




  #2  
Old January 5th, 2004, 10:37 AM
Miss L. Toe
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Default US fingerprint & photograph all foreign visitors except those on visa waiver


"Howard Long" wrote in message
...
Welcome to the USA?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3367893.stm

Visitors face US security checks

Most Europeans are excluded for now

New US security regulations are coming into force that will see most

foreign
visitors having their photographs taken and fingerprints checked.
The rules apply to visa holders and cover all but 28 countries.


So will this mean even longer queues (lines) at immigration ?
Or will they have seperate lines (queues) for those on the visa waiver
scheme ?


  #3  
Old January 5th, 2004, 03:14 PM
Howard Long
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Default US fingerprint & photograph all foreign visitors except those on visa waiver

"Miss L. Toe" wrote in message
...

So will this mean even longer queues (lines) at immigration ?


I would think that you are correct, but they're saying it'll only take 15
seconds per pax.

Or will they have seperate lines (queues) for those on the visa waiver
scheme ?


Somehow I doubt it. The same fast line for voters, slow line for non-voters.
A bit like we do it in the UK ;-)

Cheers, Howard


  #4  
Old January 5th, 2004, 05:34 PM
Dave Proctor
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Default US fingerprint & photograph all foreign visitors except those on visa waiver

On Mon, 5 Jan 2004 10:30:55 +0000 (UTC), "Howard Long"
wrote:

All 115 US airports that handle international flights and 14 major seaports
are covered by the programme, under which customs officials can instantly
check an immigrant or visitor's criminal background.


This is the bit which got me - how are they supposed to instantly
check databases around the world chronicalling everyone criminal
history? Our states computer systems do not even talk to each other,
so that when an offender goes to court in one state, his criminal
history in another state is not presented to the judge. If they don't
talk to other Australian states, how will they cope with talking to a
foreign government?

Also, they way the system works here is by way of what is called a CNI
- Central Names Index. Any person having any contact with the cops is
listed on the CNI - I have about 20 different entries on my CNI, all
of them as a person reporting an offence, a victim or as a witness.
Yet it takes our cops a couple of minutes after finding out I am
"known" before they find out that there is nothing "adverse" in my
history. How is this going to look to US authorities though? "Hey guys
this guy is known to police in his home state...."

Dave

=====

NSW Rural Fire Service - become a volunteer today.

http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/
  #5  
Old January 5th, 2004, 07:34 PM
Dick Locke
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Default US fingerprint & photograph all foreign visitors except those on visa waiver

On Mon, 5 Jan 2004 10:30:55 +0000 (UTC), "Howard Long"
wrote:


Visitors face US security checks

Most Europeans are excluded for now

New US security regulations are coming into force that will see most foreign
visitors having their photographs taken and fingerprints checked.
The rules apply to visa holders and cover all but 28 countries.


The AP story on this says:

" Foreigners also will be checked as they leave the country as an
extra security measure and to ensure they complied with visa
limitations."

Does anyone know how this will work? Up to now, someone checking in in
Omaha for a trip to an exit airport in, say, San Francisco, has
his/her passport checked and visa pulled by the Omaha airline clerk if
he or she remembers. At SFO, there is an airside bus that (I think)
takes domestic arrivals into the international teminal inside of
security. There has been no official scrutiny whatsoever. Where/how
are they inserting it?

I'm shocked to find myself in general agreement with the program
provided they can meet their claims for speed and that they treat
false failures as a learning tool rather than shrugging shoulders and
saying, "Oh well, we're at war."
  #6  
Old January 5th, 2004, 08:45 PM
Simon Elliott
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Default US fingerprint & photograph all foreign visitors except those on visa waiver

Dick Locke writes
The AP story on this says:

" Foreigners also will be checked as they leave the country as an
extra security measure and to ensure they complied with visa
limitations."


There could actually be an advantage here for law abiding visitors who
want to return to the US. If the new system accurately records the
departure time, it would provide confirmation that visitors had not
overstayed their visa.

I'm shocked to find myself in general agreement with the program
provided they can meet their claims for speed and that they treat
false failures as a learning tool rather than shrugging shoulders and
saying, "Oh well, we're at war."


IMHO the system needs to be 'sold' to visitors. In many countries, one's
fingerprints are only taken when one has dealings with the police. There
are assumptions of criminality. (I gather from posts here that this
isn't always the case in the US.) Immigration procedures are often the
first impression a visitor has of a country, and it makes no sense at
all to **** people off for no good reason.

As a system which "keeps honest people honest" it probably has its
merits. But will it have any value beyond that? Some reservations which
come to my mind:

1/ Fingerprints are quite easily changed. Retina scanning equipment is
coming rapidly down in price and would be much harder to fool.

2/ Are fingerprints of all that many serious undesirables on record?

3/ Who will be able to access the data? If I were visiting the US to go
backpacking in Yosemite, I wouldn't be all that bothered about this. But
what about a highly sensitive business trip where I could be covered in
embarrassment (or worse) if anyone found out?

4/ Will the land borders be covered?
--
Simon Elliott
http://www.ctsn.co.uk/






  #7  
Old January 5th, 2004, 09:09 PM
DALing
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default US fingerprint & photograph all foreign visitors except those on visa waiver

somebody better tell THAT to the folks at the borders where they DRIVE (or
walk like in San Diego) across. There is NO NEED to do ANYTHING to LEAVE
the US to go to Mexico - go thru a turnstile and keep going. The MOST that
happens is that SD police set up "minors checkpoints" usually Fri or Sat PM
to stop the "under 18" set from going south to drink.

"Dick Locke" wrote in message
...
On Mon, 5 Jan 2004 10:30:55 +0000 (UTC), "Howard Long"
wrote:


Visitors face US security checks

Most Europeans are excluded for now

New US security regulations are coming into force that will see most

foreign
visitors having their photographs taken and fingerprints checked.
The rules apply to visa holders and cover all but 28 countries.


The AP story on this says:

" Foreigners also will be checked as they leave the country as an
extra security measure and to ensure they complied with visa
limitations."

Does anyone know how this will work? Up to now, someone checking in in
Omaha for a trip to an exit airport in, say, San Francisco, has
his/her passport checked and visa pulled by the Omaha airline clerk if
he or she remembers. At SFO, there is an airside bus that (I think)
takes domestic arrivals into the international teminal inside of
security. There has been no official scrutiny whatsoever. Where/how
are they inserting it?

I'm shocked to find myself in general agreement with the program
provided they can meet their claims for speed and that they treat
false failures as a learning tool rather than shrugging shoulders and
saying, "Oh well, we're at war."


  #8  
Old January 5th, 2004, 09:27 PM
Sjoerd
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default US fingerprint & photograph all foreign visitors except those on visa waiver


"Simon Elliott" schreef in bericht
...
4/ Will the land borders be covered?


From:

http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/interap...lease_0332.xml
"The Department of Homeland Security today also began a pilot test of exit
procedures for departing passengers holding visas. A departure confirmation
program using automated kiosks is being tested at Baltimore-Washington
International Airport and at selected Miami Seaport cruise line terminals.
Foreign visitors exiting the United States from those locations will be
required to confirm their departure at the kiosk. US-VISIT officials will
evaluate the tests and consider alternatives to the automated kiosks for
departure confirmation throughout 2004.

Congress has mandated that an automated entry-exit program be implemented at
the 50 busiest land ports of entry by December 31, 2004, and at all land
ports by December 31, 2005. A Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued in
November to engage the private sector to help the US-VISIT program develop
the optimum solutions for entry and exit processing. The contract will be
awarded in May 2004."

So a self-service system for registering exits. I wonder how a Chinese or
Ukrainian grandmother is going to operate that system. Expect many problems
with people trying to enter the US for a second time after not having
properly exited.

"The contract will be awarded in May 2004" To Haliburton?

Sjoerd












  #9  
Old January 5th, 2004, 09:44 PM
Sjoerd
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default US fingerprint & photograph all foreign visitors except those on visa waiver


"DALing" daling43[delete]-at-hotmail.com schreef in bericht
...
The MOST that
happens is that SD police set up "minors checkpoints" usually Fri or Sat

PM
to stop the "under 18" set from going south to drink.


Are you saying that American citizens can't go abroad when they like to? And
how can the police prove that these people are planning to drink?

Sjoerd


  #10  
Old January 5th, 2004, 09:53 PM
PTRAVEL
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default US fingerprint & photograph all foreign visitors except those on visa waiver


"Simon Elliott" wrote in message
...
Dick Locke writes
The AP story on this says:

" Foreigners also will be checked as they leave the country as an
extra security measure and to ensure they complied with visa
limitations."


There could actually be an advantage here for law abiding visitors who
want to return to the US. If the new system accurately records the
departure time, it would provide confirmation that visitors had not
overstayed their visa.

I'm shocked to find myself in general agreement with the program
provided they can meet their claims for speed and that they treat
false failures as a learning tool rather than shrugging shoulders and
saying, "Oh well, we're at war."


IMHO the system needs to be 'sold' to visitors. In many countries, one's
fingerprints are only taken when one has dealings with the police. There
are assumptions of criminality. (I gather from posts here that this
isn't always the case in the US.) Immigration procedures are often the
first impression a visitor has of a country, and it makes no sense at
all to **** people off for no good reason.

As a system which "keeps honest people honest" it probably has its
merits. But will it have any value beyond that? Some reservations which
come to my mind:

1/ Fingerprints are quite easily changed. Retina scanning equipment is
coming rapidly down in price and would be much harder to fool.


I'm not sure that fingerprints are so easily changed. However, a
significant factor in the US is that fingerprint identification is accepted
as proof of identity as a matter of law in US courts. Retinal scans, as far
as I'm aware, are not. Though the latter may be more accurate, until it has
been tested, judicially, enough times, it wouldn't automatically be
considerable admissible evidence.


2/ Are fingerprints of all that many serious undesirables on record?


In the US, yes. As you indicated, fingerprinting is fairly routine in the
US and, to a great extent, fingerprint databases have been consolidated. Of
course, any criminal activity will generate a fingerprint record, e.g.
arrest (with or without subsequent conviction). However, many other
activities will result in a fingerprint record being created: obtaining a
drivers license or state ID in many states, obtaining a professional
license, becoming a naturalized citizen, etc.


3/ Who will be able to access the data? If I were visiting the US to go
backpacking in Yosemite, I wouldn't be all that bothered about this. But
what about a highly sensitive business trip where I could be covered in
embarrassment (or worse) if anyone found out?


This is an issue that concerns Americans as well as foreign visitors. I
don't care if the FBI has access to my fingerprint information, but I'd be
more concerned if, for example, insurance companies, credit reporting
agencies, etc., had access to personal government-collected data. In the
US, the right to travel between states is protected by the Constitution.
This protection does not extend to foreign travel by US citizens (at least
as the Constitution is currently interpretted -- this is why the US
government can prevent US citizens from travelling to Cuba), nor does it
apply to foreign visitors coming to the US. Admission to the US (or, for
that matter, any sovereign nation) is at the sufferance of the government --
permission can be granted or denied. Accordingly, there is no "right" to
enter the US anonymously nor, for that matter, can I think of any other
nation which affords this as a right. I do agree, though, that safeguarding
entry information from, as in your example, business competitors is in the
interest of the US government. What company would want to do business here
if their competitors could find out what they're up to?


4/ Will the land borders be covered?


I would assume yes, though our land borders are notoriously porous.

--
Simon Elliott
http://www.ctsn.co.uk/








 




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