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DHS Watch : New Entry-Exit System to Begin

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  • DHS Watch : New Entry-Exit System to Begin

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, Tom Ridge, has unveiled a plan to establish a high-tech, U.S. exit-entry system. The announcement came in a speech highlighting the progress of DHS over its first 100 days. The new system, the "U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indication Technology System" (U.S. VISIT), will use the latest technology, including a minimum of two biometric identifiers.

    The system is designed to facilitate legitimate entry to the U.S. while detecting those seeking improper entry. The system will make it possible to have more definitive authentication of documents by using biometrics such as photographs, fingerprints, and iris scans. Entry to and exit from the U.S. will be largely automated and will meet with Congressional requirements for an automation of the entry-exit system.

    The new system will replace the current National Security Exit Entry Registration System (NSEERS) and will work with the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The new U.S. VISIT program will begin initial operation by the end of 2003. We certainly hope it fulfills the promise of simplifying entry procedures for those with valid eligibility.

  • #2
    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, Tom Ridge, has unveiled a plan to establish a high-tech, U.S. exit-entry system. The announcement came in a speech highlighting the progress of DHS over its first 100 days. The new system, the "U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indication Technology System" (U.S. VISIT), will use the latest technology, including a minimum of two biometric identifiers.

    The system is designed to facilitate legitimate entry to the U.S. while detecting those seeking improper entry. The system will make it possible to have more definitive authentication of documents by using biometrics such as photographs, fingerprints, and iris scans. Entry to and exit from the U.S. will be largely automated and will meet with Congressional requirements for an automation of the entry-exit system.

    The new system will replace the current National Security Exit Entry Registration System (NSEERS) and will work with the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The new U.S. VISIT program will begin initial operation by the end of 2003. We certainly hope it fulfills the promise of simplifying entry procedures for those with valid eligibility.

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    • #3
      May 19, 2003

      A Homeland Security Department official today released the first details on how the agency will begin rolling out its massive, biometric-enabled "smart border" initiative, known as the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indication Technology (U.S. VISIT) system. By January, foreign visitors flying into major airports or arriving at the nation's largest seaports must have biometric identifiers "” fingerprint technology and photographs "” attached to their visas, said Asa Hutchinson, undersecretary for border and transportation security at DHS. Officials originally had targeted October 2004 as the start date for using biometrics in entry/exit immigration systems.

      To build the first installment of U.S. VISIT, DHS will use the almost $400 million in fiscal 2003 funds that Congress earmarked specifically for including biometrics in the visa issuance process. As described by Hutchinson, biometric-enabled visas will be generated at major U.S. POEs (Points Of Entry) for the roughly 23,000,000 visitors arriving from countries that do not enjoy "visa waiver" status. These visitors will have their travel documents scanned and will be fingerprinted and photographed to create the new visas. Further, their name and fingerprint information will be checked against watch lists to search for terrorist connections, criminal violations or past visa violations. Likewise, when these travelers exit the country they will once again have their identity verified by U.S. VISIT, a process that will also let DHS capture departure information.

      "Currently, there is no way to know when or even if our visitors leave, but under U.S. VISIT, that will change," Hutchinson said. "U.S. VISIT will not be a static system, but a dynamic one, able to track changes in immigration status and make updates and adjustments accordingly." Hutchinson also announced today, during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., that DHS will establish a new Office for Compliance within its BICE (Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.) The new office will scour U.S. VISIT information for visa violations and analyze that data in order to pass along information about suspects to field enforcement units. Hutchinson said that law enforcement in some cases will also have access to U.S. VISIT information, but for "limited purposes" only. "Let me assure you: Our department's privacy officer, Nuala O'Connor Kelly will closely monitor the effort to safeguard information from misuse."

      As DHS moves beyond this accelerated first phase of the U.S. VISIT implementation, the department wants to off-load to overseas consular offices much of the process of generating the biometric-enabled visas. The agency will also move to wrap in existing systems such as the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). In the coming months, DHS will issue a RFP (request for proposals) for the design and construction of the comprehensive U.S. VISIT system. Within 60 days, the department will hold a meeting with industry representatives to discuss the RFP. "In the fall, we will be looking for a large-scale integrator to help us define the future vision of U.S. VISIT," said Jim Williams, former director of the Internal Revenue Service's procurement division, who will head up U.S. VISIT. Until the U.S. VISIT contract is in place, DHS will rely on four existing contracts to build out initial capabilities.



      http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2003...o-05-19-03.asp

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      • #4
        I have visited America for over a decade by now, but will never go there again if this system is to be implemented.

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        • #5
          We want America safe.

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          • #6
            Of course we need America safe, but that does not mean to make it a high-security prison...

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            • #7
              DOES THIS MEAN THAT ALL PERSONS APPLYING FOR A VISA TO ENTER THE U.S. WILL BE FINGERPRINTED AND PHOTOGRAPHED AT THE U.S. CONSULATE ABROAD?

              THEN, WHEN THEY ARRIVE AT A PORT OF ENTRY, THEIR FINGERPRINTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS WILL BE MATCHED AGAINST THOSE ON THEIR VISA?

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              • #8
                Yes, wej.

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                • #9
                  DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY UNVEILS US-VISIT PROGRAM WASHINGTON, DC, OCT. 28, 2003

                  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security today unveiled the capability it will have in place at airports and seaports on December 31, 2003, to process visitors holding visas as they enter the United States. The US-VISIT program -- United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology -- is a cornerstone of the Department's goals to improve border management at our ports of entry. By capturing more complete arrival and departure data for those who require a visa to enter the United States, the US-VISIT program will enhance the security of our citizens and visitors while expediting legitimate travel and trade. "We are moving rapidly to complete development and deploy the US-VISIT capability to meet the congressionally mandated deadline of December 31, 2003," said Asa Hutchinson, Under Secretary of Border & Transportation Security of the Department of Homeland Security. "We are on target to achieve this first increment of US-VISIT," he said. US-VISIT uses scanning equipment to collect "biometric identifiers," such as fingerprints, in an inkless process, along with a digital photograph of the visitor. Together with the standard information gathered from a visitor about their identity and travel, the new program will verify the visitor's identity and compliance with visa and immigration policies. The new procedures are expected to add just seconds to the entry and exit process. All data obtained from the visitor is securely stored as part of the visitor's travel record. This information is made available only to authorized officials and selected law enforcement agencies responsible for ensuring the safety and security of U.S. citizens and foreign visitors. At exit points, visitors will check out at kiosks by scanning their visa or passport and repeating the simple inkless fingerprinting process. The exit confirmation will be added to the visitor's travel records to demonstrate compliance. Land border processing will be introduced in phases in 2005 and 2006. "All of these entry and exit procedures address our critical need for tighter security and our commitment to expedite travel for the millions of legitimate visitors we welcome each year to conduct business, learn, see family or tour the country," said Under Secretary Hutchinson.



                  http://www.ilw.com/lawyers/immigdail...1029-visit.pdf

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                  • #10
                    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...1592675127.jpg

                    Airports to Fingerprint Foreign Visitors
                    ________________________________________

                    By PENNY COCKERELL, Associated Press Writer

                    DALLAS - Foreigners entering U.S. airports and seaports "” except those from Western Europe and a handful of other countries "” will soon have their fingerprints scanned and their photographs snapped as part of a new program designed to enhance border security. The program, to be up and running on Jan. 5 at all 115 airports that handle international flights and 14 major seaports, will let Customs officials instantly check an immigrant or visitor's criminal background.

                    The program, called US-VISIT, or U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology, will check an estimated 24 million foreigners each year, though some will be repeat visitors. The only exceptions will be visitors from 28 countries "” mostly European nations whose citizens are allowed to come to the United States for up to 90 days without visas. Inkless fingerprints will be taken and checked instantly against a national digital database for criminal backgrounds and any terrorist lists. The process will be repeated when the foreigners leave the country as an extra security measure and to ensure they complied with visa limitations.

                    "I think people have come to understand that an increase to security is necessary," said U.S. Homeland Security spokesman Bill Strassberger. The foreigners will be fingerprinted and photographed when they enter the country. Strassberger said once screeners become proficient, the extra security will take only 10 to 15 seconds per person. Foreign travelers also will continue to pass through regular Customs points and answer questions. Photographs will be used to help create a database for law enforcement. The travel data is supposed to be securely stored and made available only to authorized officials on a need-to-know basis. A similar program is to be installed at 50 land border crossings by the end of next year, Strassberger said.

                    The American Civil Liberties Union, which has been critical of several steps the Bush administration has taken to track or question foreigners since the terrorist attacks, said it was reserving judgment on the new system. "The government hasn't explained exactly how it's going to work," said Lee Galernt, the ACLU's senior staff counsel. The Department of Homeland Security raised the nation's terror-attack warning to its second-highest level on Sunday, but plans to photograph and fingerprint foreigners were in place before that.

                    Unlike airports, many crossing points have no security and no warning of when travelers will arrive or depart, said Dennis Nixon, president of the International Bank of Commerce-Laredo. "There has to be a process in place at the borders that can deal consistently with the transient traveler that goes back and forth," Nixon said. "And there are hundreds of millions of people crossing the border each day, so it's a huge logistical difference."

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