The U.S. Department of Justice has proposed to re-apply an old, long-ignored statute to certain visa holders to help fight against terrorism. This rule, also called the “National Security Entry-Exit Registration System”, would require certain non-immigrants, mainly from selected Middle Eastern countries, to be fingerprinted and photographed upon arrival in the U.S. In addition, the visa holder would be expected to register with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) if they are planning to stay in the U.S. for over 30 days and then check-in every 12 months thereafter. This legislation targets individuals that are already in the U.S. as well as tourists, students, business travelers, workers and other non-citizens from these designated countries.
While Attorney General John Ashcroft declined to comment on the criteria basis for who will fall under this program, it is expected to include non-immigrants from countries such as Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, and Syria but eventually could encompass up to 35 countries including Cuba, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen