US homeland security to force all travelers to undergo face scans when leaving or entering the United States


The Trump administration wants to introduce legislation next year that would require all travelers – including U.S. citizens to be photographed when entering or leaving the United States.

The proposed regulation, slated to be issued in July by the Homeland Security Department, would be part of a broader system to track travelers as they enter and exit the United States, according to the administration’s regulatory agenda.

The plan has already drawn opposition from some privacy advocates. Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union, blasted the idea in a written statement on Monday.

‘Travelers, including U.S. citizens, should not have to submit to invasive biometric scans simply as a condition of exercising their constitutional right to travel,’ he said.

 ‘That’s a false argument,’ former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik told ‘The reality is what the administration is trying to do is eliminate people from getting into the country with false documents.’

The Trump administration contends that the face scan requirement will combat the fraudulent use of U.S. travel documents and aid the identification of criminals and suspected terrorists.

The public typically has 30 to 60 days to comment on a proposed U.S. regulation. The federal agency then needs to review and respond to comments, a process that can be time-consuming for major regulations.

The Trump administration also said in its regulatory agenda that it plans to issue a separate fast-track regulation this month that would allow the entry-exit project to move beyond a pilot status.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is part of DHS, has already conducted pilot programs that collect photographs and fingerprints from foreign travelers.

The facial recognition program would scan a traveler’s face before matching with an image in the database. Any red flags would be immediately investigated.   

‘You can monitor who’s in the country and who left the country,’ Kerik said. ‘I don’t see any negative to it.’ 

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