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It takes DHS about 35 seconds to collect fingerprints from all 10 digits

It takes more than twice as long for the US-VISIT program to collect 10 fingerprints from each non-citizen arriving into the U.S. at an airport or land border as it did prior to 2007, when only two fingerprints were collected.

According to the National Protection and Programs Directorate at DHS, it takes an average of 35 seconds to capture prints of all 10 fingers, compared with the average of 15 seconds it took to collect only two prints.

DHS estimates it currently collects those 10-finger prints from almost 157 million people each year and that the entire process consumes more than 1.5 million hours of effort, according to a DHS notice published in the Federal Register on March 9.

“US-VISIT collects and disseminates biometric information (digital fingerprint images and facial photos) from individuals during their entry into the United States,” explained the notice. That identifying data is shared with other DHS components, federal agencies, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and the intelligence community.

DHS invites the public to comment by May 10 on its current practice of requiring prints from all 10 fingers. Comments can be submitted by visiting www.regulations.gov and citing docket number DHS-2010-0018.

Further information is available from Steven Yonkers, of the US-VISIT program, at [email protected].


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