The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will start testing its US-VISIT program at a series of land ports of entry this November. This testing will initially begin at land ports of entry in Douglas, Arizona, Port Huron, Michigan and Laredo, Texas. By December 31, 2004 the US-VISIT program will be deployed in the 50 busiest land ports of entry in the U.S.
At these land ports of entry, two index fingerscans and a digital photograph will be taken of visitors referred to secondary inspection because they are traveling to the U.S. using a passport or visa. This program will also expedite the I-94 submission process. Visitors referred to secondary inspection will not be required to manually complete this form. The form will be electronically filled out when the visitor’s travel documents are scanned by the inspector(s).
“US-VISIT has met every single one of its commitments and deadlines successfully to date. US-VISIT has proved itself at our airports and seaports, and I can assure you that as we move into the next phase with land borders, our entire team is focused intensely on maintaining that high standard of performance. US-VISIT will not deploy an untested system,” said Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security Asa Hutchinson.
According to the DHS, the goals of the US-VISIT program are to enhance the security of the U.S.’s citizens and visitors; facilitate legitimate travel and trade; ensure the integrity of the U.S. immigration system; and protect the privacy of visitors to the U.S.