Sunday, January 04, 2004
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Foreign travelers who need visas will be photographed and fingerprinted at Orlando International Airport and 114 other airports around the nation beginning Monday, according to Local 6 News.
The program, to be up and running on Jan. 5 at all 115 airports that handle international flights, will let Customs officials instantly check an immigrant or visitor's criminal background. Their fingerprints and photographs will keep track of when foreigners enter and leave the country.
"I think people have come to understand that an increase to security is necessary," said U.S. Homeland Security spokesman Bill Strassberger.
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.
You should all know the drill on this one by now. This is just 1984-style stuff, the thin edge of the wedge. Tracking foreign tourists like they're on the cusp of committing some atrocity, forcing citizens to show ID to travel ("Your papers, comrade, and be quick about it!"), etc., etc. We're becoming, by leaps and bounds, an insanely paranoid nation.
More paranoid nation, perhaps. 'Cause, really, we're not right in the head.
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