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Wednesday, 22 May 2013 19:57

Big Brother Sees You Off: Foreigners In US To Be Fingerprinted Upon Leaving Country

Travelers visiting the US may have to prepare for more hassles at customs: All foreign nationals leaving the country at 30 airports must have their fingerprints taken, according to a new amendment to a planned immigration reform bill.

The amendment, which was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in a 13-5 vote, will see departure terminals at major US airports – including JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty – equipped with high-tech systems for fingerprinting foreign nationals and scanning their passports and visas.

Introducing the new law will take time, as 10 of the biggest US airports – accounting for 70 percent of international travel – will have the immigration tracking system installed within two years; the 20 other airports will have six years to refurbish their departure areas.

Currently, foreigners are only required to submit their fingerprints when entering the United States.

Not tracking exits is “a hole in the system,” said Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), one of the amendment’s proponents. "Biometric data provides the government with certainty that travelers (and not just their travel documents) have or have not left the country," the Senator’s office said in a statement, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

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