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article imageThe Technology is There, Just Not Used

By KJ Mullins     May 16, 2007 in Politics
The States have been touting face- and fingerprint-matching technology for years but there's one problem with it. Border patrols seldom use it.
It's not even set up in the vehicle lines at the Mexican/United States border.
The reason? With backups of hours already the time to process people would take forever.
When Congress approved it in 1996, biometrics was planned to be used for every person coming across the border. Now members of Congress are a little miffed.
“Congress would not have gone to the trouble of requiring biometric features on the border crossing card if it knew the administration would not require that those features be read by scanners,” said Republican Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, who wrote the legislation.
As the government spends millions of dollars embedding photo and fingerprints into visa cards, the reality is only 2% of the cards are used on the equipment.
Since 1998 laser visas have been issued to 9.1 million Mexican travelers. Used properly the visa takes about 30 seconds to process. The visas are for travellers who only venture 40 kilometres from the border for 30 days. The cards have prevented fraud, because of the fingerprinting and photos used.
More about Mexico-united states, Border security, Fingerprint machine
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