Non-U.S. citizens flying from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport will now have to leave their fingerprints as they leave the country. The objective, of course, is to prevent the use of forged or otherwise fraudulent documents, curb identity theft and apprehend “criminals and immigration violators.”
“Collecting biometrics allows us to determine faster and more accurately whether non-U.S. citizens have departed the United States on time or remained in the country illegally,” said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. “The pilot programs in Atlanta and Detroit will help us determine and develop standard procedures for use at airports across the country to expedite legitimate travel and enhance our nation’s security.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers will be taking the fingerprints at the boarding gate in Detroit, with Transportation Security Administration officers doing the honors at the gate in Atlanta. The program is expected to run through early July at these two airports. If the test run goes well, it will be implemented across the United States within the next year.