January 25, 2005 – Asa Hutchinson, Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security for the United States Department of Homeland Security, announced today that US VISIT is continuing to improve the border management system by planning tests of radio frequency (RF) technology at the U.S. land border.
“We are driven by a vision of the way our borders can and should operate in the future, and that future is getting closer and closer with every layer of US-VISIT we deploy,” said Under Secretary Hutchinson. “Through the use of radio frequency technology, we see the potential to not only improve the security of our country, but also to make the most important infrastructure enhancements to the US land borders in more than fifty years. Working with our border partners, we intend to see that it’s done in the right way and at the right pace,” Hutchinson continued.
The technology will be tested at a simulated port this spring. By July 31, 2005, the testing will begin at the ports of Nogales East and Nogales West in Arizona; Alexandria Bay in New York; and, Pacific Highway and Peace Arch in Washington. The testing or “proof of concept” phase is expected to continue through the spring of 2006.
The optimal technology will allow for a unique and automatic identifier issued to pedestrians and visitors crossing in vehicles. The benefits of deploying RF technology at the land border allows for the automatic recording of visitors’ arrival and departure. The test of this technology is designed to occur in multiple ports that illustrate various weather and traffic conditions.
At land ports of entry, US VISIT entry procedures are already expediting the inspection time at the secondary inspection area. The entry procedures are now operational at the 50 busiest land ports of entry, 115 airports and 15 seaports, and more than 17.5 million foreign visitors have been processed through US-VISIT without adversely impacting wait times. Because of US-VISIT biometric technology, the United States has arrested or denied admission to more than 407 people.
The goals of US-VISIT are to enhance the security of our citizens and visitors; facilitate legitimate travel and trade; ensure the integrity of our immigration system; and protect the privacy of our visitors.
US-VISIT is a continuum of security measures that begins overseas and continues through entry and exit. Experience has shown that the US-VISIT enrollment process is fast, easy to understand and simple for visitors.
For more information, visit www.dhs.gov/us-visit.