America has rules, people. No fingerprints? No entry.
According to Medgadget.com, a 62 year old man from Singapore was recently detained by customs officials when he attempted to enter our country without the proper credentials: his fingerprints.
The man was reportedly on a long term low dose of Capecitabine, a cancer drug which can lead to the deterioration of the skin on your fingertips and toes.
Obviously, every super-villain needs to sign up for this drug immediately. How is there not already a movie about this starring Nicholas Cage or Tom Hanks? Or Nicholas Cage and Tom Hanks? We can’t really recommend the drug for average aspiring criminals, though — every time you encounter the police, they’re gonna be like “Dude. Why don’t you have fingerprints?” and they’ll probably DNA-print you or something, and possibly put a microchip in your brain so they can track you — hot damn this would make a good movie!
Anyway … after a few hours of questioning (and probably some good head-scratching), they let the man through. They requested that from now on, he carry a letter from his doctor explaining the unprintable situation.
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.
As part of the US-VISIT program, designed to protect the country from terrorism and other threats, US Permanent Residents will soon have to subject to fingerprinting when they enter the country through an immigration checkpoint. The new rules go into effect on January 18th 2009.
The scheme is already in place for non permanent residents and other visitors, but it is the first time it has been expanded to permanent residents.
Fingerprinting Green card holders is quite strange, because part of the process of becoming a permanent resident involves an FBI background check and a pretty intensive fingerprinting procedure.
Of course, the fingerprinting could also be a way of ensuring the person entering the country with a Green card actually is who they say they are. It could also simply mean that the records stored within the government systems are such a mess, that they can’t do any reliable matching against terrorist records.
The next step in US-VISIT could be a little more scary, as the Department of Homeland Security claims there are “not currently” any plans to start fingerprinting US citizens when they re-enter the country, but I suspect that is probably not very far away.