Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

July 27, 2006

US-VISIT expands to include permanent U.S. residents

Filed under: Border Security,Privacy and Security — by Christian Beckner on July 27, 2006

DHS released a notice in the Federal Register today (noticed quickly by the New York Times) that announces plans to increase the categories of people who will be required to enroll in the US-VISIT system (i.e. be fingerprinted and have their picture taken) when they enter and exit the United States, to include:

  • All legal permanent residents (green card holders) living in the United States;
  • Aliens seeking admission on immigrant visas;
  • Refugees and asylees;
  • Canadians who are in the United States as students, journalists, crew members, temporary workers, intracompany transferees, and athletes (but not Canadians visiting for short-term business or pleasure…they will be covered under pending WHTI regs).

Is the U.S. entry system ready for this additional work burden? This could potentially lead to longer wait times at certain land border crossings and airports if not managed correctly. Also, I would expect there to be some serious privacy-related backlash on this decision, given the fact that lawful permanent residents are considered “US persons” from a legal standpoint, and under law should have the same privacy rights as U.S. citizens.

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