Customs to record more fingerprints from foreign visitors

Atlanta airport starts with 10-digit fingerprint collection program


ATLANTA - International visitors who fly into the United States through its busiest airport will have to give more fingerprints than they used to.

U.S. officials on Friday unveiled a new fingerprint collection program at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport - the second U.S. airport now using the system.

The initiative, called US-VISIT, will collect all fingerprints of each visitor for increased security. In the previous system, screeners took only two fingerprints.

Robert C. Gomez, director of field operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said the 10-print system will give feedback faster than the old system did.

In Atlanta, 10,000 to 15,000 international visitors will be screened each day.

The system, a cooperative effort between Homeland Security, the State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, went on line at Dulles International Airport in Washington in December, officials said.

(Associated Press WorldStream -- 01/14/08)