The U.S. Senate approved a pilot that will have the Homeland Security capturing biometrics from foreign travelers exiting the country, according to a report in USA Today.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has been debating the immigration bill. Last week it defeated a proposal that would have called for biometric exit tracking of travelers citing its expense. A compromise this week has a pilot project in place in two years at the 10-busiest airports.
Homeland Security has had biometric entry in place at U.S. airports and other border crossing since in 2004. The US-VISIT program has been collecting fingerprint data from foreign travelers and running them against a watch list.
Gathering biometrics when a traveler exits the U.S. has been a more difficult task. Numerous pilots have not demonstrated a workable system. At one point Homeland Security was going to have the airlines collect the biometric data but the carriers balked at the proposal.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) is pushing for a program to collect the biometric data of people leaving the U.S. to better track visa overstays, people who enter the country legally but remain after their visas expire. That group makes up about 40% of the 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the country.