New Border Security Technology Faces Test

    Date16 Nov 2004
    CategoryGovernment
    5040
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Foreigners entering the United States in three cities were fingerprinted, photographed and subjected to background checks Monday in a test of a program that will eventually be extended to every land border crossing nationwide. . . . Foreigners entering the United States in three cities were fingerprinted, photographed and subjected to background checks Monday in a test of a program that will eventually be extended to every land border crossing nationwide.

    The screenings are part of a post-Sept. 11 plan to one day ID and record every foreigner who enters and leaves the United States. It has been in place at U.S. airports and seaports for nearly a year.

    The system drew few complaints in Laredo on Monday as busloads of tourists from Mexico and Central America moved steadily through the lines for processing. The other border crossings conducting the checks are Douglas, Ariz.; and Port Huron, Mich.

    "You know there is the reason," 30-year-old Stefano Spaggiari of Modena, Italy, said, referring to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. "So you can wait."

    Under the system, a machine checks visitors' fingerprints and a golfball-sized camera snaps their pictures. Digital fingerscans and photos are matched with databases to determine if visitors might be wanted for immigration problems and crimes or are on lists barring them from entering the country because of suspected terrorist ties.

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