Coming and Going

There's a new rule coming down the pike that would affect foreign visitors to the US:
The Bush administration would require commercial airlines and cruise-line operators to collect information such as fingerprints from international travelers and send the information to the Homeland Security Department soon after the travelers leave the country, according to a proposed rule.

The proposal, which will be announced Tuesday, will close a security gap identified after the 9/11 attacks and identify which visitors have overstayed their visas.

Airlines and cruise ship operators must already provide the department with biographical information on international passengers before they leave the country. But this rule would require biometric information — such as fingerprints — to be collected and then transmitted within 24 hours of a visitor leaving the U.S., according to a Homeland Security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made.
From a tourist perspective, the question will be whether or not the increased security and delays at the airport (both ways) will be worth the savings that the low value of the dollar would give them.


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