Friday, December 19, 2008

DHS Expands Biometric Requirements: US Citizens May Be Next

As of January 18, 2009, the Department of Homeland Security will be vastly increasing the number of people required to provide digital fingerprints and photographs on entry to the United States.

Although the DHS headline announces "Department of Homeland Security Expands Collection of Biometrics for Visitors," the policy actually is going to be applied to Longterm Permanent Residents!

Millions of US residents will now be treated like criminals simply because they chose to travel.

These include:
  • Lawful permanent residents of the United States (LPRs);
  • Persons entering the United States who seek admission on immigrant visas;
  • Persons entering the United States who seek admission as refugees and asylees;
  • Canadian citizens who are currently required to obtain a Form I-94, Arrival / Departure Document upon entry or require a waiver of inadmissibility to enter the United States (This excludes most Canadian citizens entering the United States for purposes of shopping, visiting friends and family, vacation or short business trips);
  • Persons paroled into the United States; and
  • Persons applying for acdmission under the Guam Visa Waiver Program.
The DHS states: "Collection and verification of biometric identifiers upon entry protects travelers by making it virtually impossible for anyone else to attempt to use their biometrically linked travel documents (such as a permanent resident card), such as if their documents were stolen or duplicated."

This creeping and creepy logic suggests that US citizens are next. Why leave US citizen travelers out of the "protections" of biometric screening so generously extended to longterm permanent residents?

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