U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology Program (US-VISIT) [Updated February 23, 2005]   [open pdf - 169KB]

"Tracking the entry and exit of most foreign nationals at U.S. ports of entry is not a small undertaking. In FY2003 there were over 427 million inspections conducted at U.S. ports of entry, of which 62% were foreign nationals from other countries. Moreover, implementing the requirements of an automated entry and exit data system is not without controversy. Some observers fear that the full implementation of USVISIT will cause massive delays at U.S. ports of entry, primarily at land ports of entry. Some believe that the cost of implementing such a system would outweigh the benefits. Others express concern about the inadequacy of current infrastructure, and the lack of consensus with respect to the type of biometric technology that should be used in travel documents. Many continue to question the purpose of such a system. Some argue that resources should be directed at immigration interior enforcement, rather than on an expensive system whose capability is not fully known. The automated entry and exit data system was administratively renamed the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT). It is reportedly going to be implemented in phases over the next several years. While the 9/11 Commission generally endorsed the US-VISIT Program, it recommended accelerated implementation, as well as several enhancements to the program. This report will be updated to reflect new developments."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32234
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