May 14, 2013 -
As the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee continues to work through amendments to an immigration overhaul bill, it has rejected a proposal from Republican Senator Jeff Sessions to collect the fingerprints of foreigners departing from the country.
A currently-proposed overhaul to current U.S. immigration laws would require that the Department of Homeland Security complete a system to collect biographic information, though Senator Jeff Sessions has proposed amending this bill to include biometric data collection.
According to a report in the Washington Post, some Democrats said they support the establishing of a biometric system, though cost remains an issue, as estimates suggest this overhaul could cost several billion dollars and slow the implementation of immigration reforms.
“I personally think from my experience from law enforcement that the fingerprint system should be the basic system of law enforcement,” Sessions said in the Washington Post report.
Ultimately, the committee rejected Session’s proposals 12-6.
In a report from USA Today, Senator Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is in favor a biometric system.
“I think Sen. Sessions has a point,” Feinstein is quoted to have said in the report. “There’s no question in my mind that the biometric system is the fail-safe system.”
Reported previously, Senator Feinstein proposed legislation last year in responses to the Newton, Conn, murders that represents a tougher ban on assault weapons and would see all gun owners fingerprinted and photographed for positive identification.
This news also comes shortly after government auditors published a scathing report which suggests that despite a decade of work, the TSA’s Transportation Worker Identification Card program is still not ready.