The Department of Homeland Security is not expected to proceed with the implementation of a fingerprint system to confirm when foreigners depart the country. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is said to be preparing to endorse an exit-control system based on gathering the names of foreigners leaving the country at airports from flight and immigration documents rather than fingerprints.
Congress would need to reverse several legislative mandates that have been passed calling for the implementation of fingerprinting to address one of immigrations largest problems, overstaying of visa’s. 40% of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the states are expected to be here on expired visa’s, making a tool to keep track of when people are leaving the country instrumental.
Implementation of an exiting system has stalled under several administrations due to logistical issues. Homeland Security is confident that the information they provide to ICE will be increasingly credible and actionable without the fingerprint data. The agency told congress that ICE arrested 568 overstayers last year as a result of leads forwarded from their US-VISIT program. He added that more than 1,000 identified overstayers who had left the country were subsequently denied visas, while nearly 1,500 more were denied re-entry into the United States.