The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee has withheld funding for the US VISIT Exit program. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which runs the US VISIT program, wanted to have airlines collect the biometrics of foreigners exiting the country.
But the airlines didn’t want to pay for it and the House is withholding DHS funding for the project until the agency figures out another way to pay for it.
The Air Transport Association of America, the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, has lobbied against the program and is hoping the U.S. Senate takes similar steps.
“Our elected officials have recognized what we long have been saying, that DHS lacks the legal authority to force airlines to collect fingerprints from foreign travelers departing from the U.S.,” said James C. May, ATA president and CEO. “We urge the Senate to respond in a similar manner by passing a continuing resolution containing the same language. Maybe then DHS will get the message and withdraw its proposal.”