Tuesday, July 19, 2005

DHS Protecting Us From Legal Visitors To U.S. But What About The Illegal Visitors?

Travelers legally entering the U.S. will soon have to submit to a one-time 10-fingerscan upon arrival at airports and seaports across the nation.

The plan, announced July 13 by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, is part of the government's move to strengthen the US-VISIT program and boost security efforts to prevent another terrorist attack.

In subsequent visits, the visitors would be subject to a two-finger scan.

"This enhanced use of U.S.-VISIT will dramatically improve our ability to detect and thwart terrorists trying to enter the United States, with no significant increase in inconvenience," Chertoff said.

The US-VISIT program currently affects 115 airports and 14 seaports. The program also currently affects 50 border crossings, and is to expand to 165 border crossings by yearend.


In the same speech, Chertoff discussed improving border security, saying: "Understanding the enemy’s intent and capabilities affects how we operate at our borders."

But Chertoff did not mention whether the Bush Administration would fulfill a promise, thus far not met, to increase our border patrol by 2000. My guess is he won't be discussing it in the future, either.

Instead, he offered the sort of vague promises that critics have come to expect from this administration: "(W)e must gain full control of our borders to prevent illegal immigration and security breaches. Flagrant violation of our borders undercuts respect for the rule of law and undermines our security."


I'm sure that fingerscanning legal visitors is important. After all, the 19 Al Qaeda terrorists had legally arrived in the U.S.

But shouldn't it be of equal priority to stop those crossing our borders illegally? It's not like there's been a lack of demand from government officials for an improved border patrol.

"We need more agents, and we need to do a smarter and better job," Robert C. Bonner, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said at a March 3 congressional hearing.


Anonymous Paul Rothchild said...


4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul? Time for your meds, honey.


5:24 PM  

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