Saturday, April 03, 2004

Fingerprints and Photos Required

Welcome to the United States of America!

A program requiring foreigners to be fingerprinted and photographed before entering the United States is being expanded to include millions of travelers from some of America's staunchest allies, officials said Friday.
The move affects citizens in 27 countries - including Britain, Japan and Australia - who had been allowed to travel within the United States without visas for up to 90 days. Officials said the change was prompted in part by concerns that terrorists might try to exploit those exemptions.

And will this help to find any potential terrorists among the flocks of tourists eager to spend their money here? I don't know. The answer obviously depends on the number of potential terrorists that have their photos and/or fingerprints on record somewhere. Without such prior records the process seems pretty pointless.

It will certainly reduce the number of visitor to the U.S.. Most vacationers don't like to be treated like crime suspects, and there are plenty of other interesting places to visit instead.