Hell is for Tourists

This past weekend, Mrs. Cowboy and I went to JFK airport in New York to pick up Aunt & Uncle Cowboy, who were arriving from Switzerland. Even with an arrival time that was earlier than scheduled, we timed the drive correctly since we figured it would take them 20 or 30 minutes to retrieve their luggage and get out of passport control. More and more flights were arriving from overseas, easily creating a backlog. Almost two hours later, my aunt and uncle walk out and we quickly whisk them to the car. Once we're all settled I asked them what could've taken so long.

Security has been stepped up that requires foreign visitors to have their 10 fingerprints and mugshots taken before entering the country. This increased security just got unveiled at O'Hare, but I don't know how long it's been in effect at JFK. It sounds like the main cause of the delay was due to the equipment not working properly, consequently holding up the works for several hundreds of passengers arriving at the same time from multiple countries.

I remember discussions about this a few years ago, perhaps about privacy issues of those visiting and such. Are there any Shakers here who have experienced this increased security? If so, what did you think of it as you were going through, and what do you think of it as the new status quo in visiting the US?

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