Friday, May 29, 2009

Test of Biometric Exit Procedures Begins At 2 U.S. Airports

The Homeland Security Department has started collecting digital fingerprints from non‑U.S. citizens departing the United States as part of a pilot program at Hartsfield‑Jackson Atlanta International and Detroit Metropolitan airports.

“Collecting biometrics allows us to determine faster and more accurately whether non-U.S. citizens have departed the United States on time or remained in the country illegally,” said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The pilot program is expected to run a little over a month and then will likely be expanded to other airports sometime next year.

Since 2004, digital fingerprints have been collected from most non-U.S. citizens between the ages of 14 and 79 when they apply for visas or arrive at U.S. ports of entry.