The push to stand up biometric checkpoints for foreigners departing the country would not, right now, yield expected benefits, such as quickly spotting people with invalid visas, according to a new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center.
The advantages of an immigration entry-exit system based on digitized physical markers, like fingerprint images, include timely and accurate identification, say many proponents, including the Homeland Security Department. Other pluses include precise statistics on the number of people who have outstayed their visas. But biographic systems based on names and birthdates offer many of the same benefits and are more robust than the current crop of underdeveloped biometric machines, the center found.
"Any solution implemented in the near- or medium-term would likely to be susceptible to fraud," states the report, which was released on Tuesday. "The value-added calculus shows that while biometric exit is certainly worth pursuing, biographic exit can achieve most of the goals of an entry-exit system."
After the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, DHS began testing technology to check the fingerprints and photos of visitors entering and exiting the United States. The exit component of the system still does not exist. Several proposals for comprehensive immigration reform would require biometric entry-exit systems.