New entry procedures unveiled for the US
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) demonstrated new procedures that most visitors travelling on visas to the United States have to follow.
They have to have two fingerprints scanned by an inkless device and a digital photograph taken by immigration officials upon entry at US air and seaports starting January 5, 2004.
The procedures, developed in response to a congressional mandate, are part of the US-VISIT (United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology) — an automated entry/exit system — and will be in place at 115 airports and 14 major seaports in early 2004. The enhancements to the immigration process will be phased in at US land borders throughout 2005 and 2006.
Speaking at an October 28 press briefing demonstrating the new technologies, DHS Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security Asa Hutchinson called US-VISIT “the most dramatic step forward in increasing security in the modern history of immigration.”
The goal of US-VISIT, Hutchinson said, is to enhance the security of the United States while expediting legitimate travel and trade.