Because of the new security program launched by the Bush administration that requires fingerprints and photographs to be taken of foreign visitors from certain nations, some countries are starting to fight back. Brazil is one of the first to do so, and has begun to fingerprint Americans entering their country.
But their attempt to marginalize the new U.S. program shows their outright ignorance. The US-VISIT program is not a middle finger to the world, but rather a necessary precaution in a world full of those who wish to do us wrong; Brazil’s policy is precisely that middle finger, and the irony in launching a similar, and as they claim intrusive, program should not be lost on the South American nation.
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has the real deal, explaining why critics have nothing to fear except possibly catching a few terrorists.
“It is a very unobtrusive change,” said Ridge. “We’re going to ask them to leave two digital finger scans, and while they’re doing that their photograph will be taken. And all this is in the regular course of processing their visas.”
After all, preliminary testing of the new system has shown the procedure adds only 15 seconds to check-in time.