Jun 28, 2008

Exit program at US airports? Wot the...?

I haven't heard of this proposal before. Does anyone know what's behind it? What is it supposed to accomplish? Why would I, as a Canadian Citizen, accept being finger-printed upon DEPARTURE from the USA? But only at airports, not if I drive out? And why at departure? Nothing in such a proposal makes any sense to me -- can anyone explain?

IATA and US Air Transport Assn. strongly objected to a US Dept. of Homeland Security proposed rule that would establish an "exit" program at US airports requiring airlines to fund and manage the collection of fingerprints from non-US citizens departing the country.


yoh-there said...

I can really only guess they want to "tick off" the people leaving from the ones that are registered to have come in, probably to fight illegal entry on tourist visa (not that that will change anything to security of "the homeland"). Of course it's a hoot and the mismatch will be gigantic. And then, when you have not been registered as going out, and coming in a few months later, the trouble starts. It's simply a bad idea. IMO.

Aluwings said...

The part I find strange is what would happen if I refuse to provide fingerprints at the exit airport? Will I be thrown out of the country at that point? ;-) ... or held indefinitely in a prison cell until I agree? Or will they be "taken" by force?

What would happen if I simply turned away from the lineup, and take a Greyhound bus home?

I just don't see how it's supposed to achieve anything, other than adding one more reason to avoid air travel...

I hope (suspect) that the air and tourist industries will continue to lobby heavily against this idea.

Anonymous said...

DHS is intending to implement exit controls for all modes of transport. They're just starting with air carrier travel because it's easiest to monitor. The intention is to identify people who overstay their visas and ban them from re-entry. People who try to leave the US after their visas have expired will be arrested, detained, formally deported, and banned from entering the US at any point in the future. Once exit controls are completely implemented, anyone who enters the US but leaves without any record being generated will be denied entry/deported if they try to enter in the future.

Note that deportation may or may not involve prolonged incarceration without trial, access to health care (DHS actually killed a baby a few months back by refusing to provide health care), and possibly a side trip to Syria or Guantanamo Bay.

None of these regulations will in any way make Americans safer. They're about power and control rather than security.

Americancousin said...

I've thoroughly enjoyed my frequent visits to the USA over my career. I love San Francisco, and I fondly recall many layover hikes through the wonders of New York. I've never had a bad experience with Customs and Immigration.

The last time I flew a small aircraft across the border I found the new security procedures more demanding to comply with regarding ETAs, notifications, etc.. But once across the border I marveled at the unlimited freedom my American cousins extended me to fly pretty much anywhere, anytime I liked. Even under a mode C veil without a transponder "Confirm you'll remain clear of class B? Then sure, Comon' Down!"

The US is still one of the greatest demonstrations to date of government "by the people FOR the people," and I have deep respect for the courage it takes to live like that.

But recent moves to "protect" freedom are a little disquieting... seizure of personal computers, detainments without hearings, etc..

I 'know' the McCarthy era in US history mainly through media reports, but I'm sensing a similar spirit of fear pervading this administration. Not cool.

Duffer said...

Now DHS is saving Americans from the threat of Bad Golfers

Anonymous said...

A climate of fear.... but mostly the fear of those who are in power that Something Bad will happen on their watch, and your career is over, and so let's do everything possible to check, double check, inventory, poke, prod, log, fingerprint and otherwise cover yer butt, thus providing plausible deniability if anything goes in the ditch.

Most of which is silly, has huge gaps, ineffective, or hijacked by special interest groups.

Remember the campaign by Greyhound bus drivers, who wanted security doors just like the ones they had on airplanes to prevent access to the flight deck... er... steering wheel? Becuae Greyhound busses could be a terrorist target, y'know.

They're scanning flight crews, one of the most trained, screened, licensed and checked populations at the airport, before they can get to their aircraft... but minimall trained, minimally screened individuals with criminal records, whose lunchpail has not been checked, are allowed airside to groom aircraft and load luggage.

A ton of the silly measures at the US Border are in place to address the illegal cross-border economic migrants from Mexico, but they are applied at all borders, so that a firetruck crossing from Quebec into the USA, in a cross-border mutual community support arrangement, is stopped at the border while US Immigration checks everyone's passports. Now THAT plugs a huge leak in US border security.

At the current rate, the US, with barriers at every border, a lack of cheap energy, labour costs that are excessive when compared tot he world market, unaffordable health care, reduced innovative advantage because there are lots of smart people being trained in universities around the world, a government hopelessly in debt and unable to figure out how to curb spending, and an economy which is dependent on no-longer-available cheap energy, is going to be little more than a one-of-the-pack nation.

Aviatrix said...

That's a very poorly-planned strategy. It's as if people only enter or leave the country via commercial airline. I regularly enter the US by airline and leave as PIC of a non airline flight. I would throw a hairy fit if the Americans wanted to fingerprint me on the way out.