by Janice Kephart
Center for Immigration Studies
February 06, 2014
Backgrounder
A fledgling system to track the departure of foreign nationals leaving by air (hereafter called “exit”) may make an appearance by the end of 2014. Over the past 17 years, Congress has passed eight laws requiring the implementation of an exit system. After 9/11, three of these laws, required that biometrics (like fingerprints, facial recognition, or iris scans) be used to verify the identity of foreign nationals arriving in and departing from the United States. The 9/11 Commission found that the hijackers used over 300 aliases to enter and exit the United States. As a result, the Commission recommended that individual identity characteristics such as fingerprints and digital photos be used to verify identity, not just names. Many members of Congress believe that the time may be right for implementation of a biometric exit system.



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