The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published a notice of proposed rulemaking to develop a comprehensive biometric entry-exit system that would allow the collection of biometrics from travelers entering and departing from airports, land ports, seaports, or any other authorized point of entry/departure. The rule would enable U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to photograph all aliens entering and/or departing the United States, as well as to use facial recognition technology to identify aliens entering the United States. The rule would also eliminate exemptions for young people and diplomatic visa holders, and only permit U.S. citizens to opt out of participating in CBP’s biometric verification program. According to the proposed rule, the photographs would be used to “determine [a traveler’s] identity or for other lawful purposes,” such as to address national security concerns arising from the threat of terrorism, the fraudulent use of legitimate travel documentation, aliens who overstay their authorized period of admission or are present in the United States without having been admitted or paroled, and incorrect or incomplete biographic data for travelers.
Written comments on the proposed rule can be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal using docket number USCBP-2020-0062 through Dec. 21, 2020.