http://www.examiner.com/county-politica ... threat-u-sDHS promises US-VISIT's new biometric data program will slow illegal entry
San Diego County Political Buzz Examiner
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the implementation of US-VISIT, a biometric program that will monitor entry/exit patterns for international travelers. The program will keep tabs on foreign visitors and curtail visa over-stayers.
US-VISIT's use of biometrics streamlines the U.S. entry process and DHS officials say it virtually eliminates fraud. The biometrics program collects unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprints, that provide port-of-entry agents with automated recognition. This tamper-proof identification service is reliable, convenient and virtually impossible to forge.
Despite DHS's optimism that this program will curb illegal immigration, long time San Diego resident and former U.S. Attorney, Pete Nunez, finds the DHS claims are far fetched.
"This is a joke. First, it only applies to the entry process at airports and seaports. Can you imagine how long the lines will be at San Ysidro and every other land border when people have to go through the entry procedure described on the DHS web site? Second, the departure procedures, even at air and sea ports – are a joke," Nunez explained. "There is no process beyond what now exists (turn in your I-94 to the airlines at check in) for collecting biometrics upon departure, although there is some vague reference to some new procedure which 'might' be in place in the future. And there is complete silence on how DHS intends to collect biometrics upon departure at a land POE. That is and always has been the biggest hurdle to conquer in putting together a valid entry/exit system, and this only gets us half way there."
Nunez continues to explain the shortcomings of the biometric program. "In order to check on people departing the US at land borders, you would have to have manned southbound/outbound checkpoints, with an inspector there to monitor the outbound process. We don’t have enough inspectors now to handle inbound traffic, so how are we going to manage an outbound process without a massive increase in inspection staff? Air and sea ports are at least feasible, because it is a much more controlled environment, and some of the outbound processing can be handed off to the airlines, as we do now with the I-94 paper system. But land borders are a whole different universe, with millions more crossers than come through air and sea ports."