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OP/ED: Fingerprinted On Entry.

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posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 07:26 AM
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Last week my wife and I were invited to a dinner party.The invite came from an old friend of my wife's called Julie and the card said that the meal was due to start at 8pm but we were to arrive early as the host had some security concerns.
 

Approaching the front door clutching a bunch of flowers and a bottle of wine for the hostess we were blinded by a flashing light and while we were still dazed and confused the door opened.

"Sorry about that" said the hostess "It's just a camera taking a photo."

We didn't question why a snapshot had been taken as we were still a little confused,bright lights were still flashing across my vision,instead we handed over our gifts and crossed into the house.It was then that we noticed Julie's husband Dave sitting behind a small folding table in the hallway.

"You first" he said as he beckoned me over.

He held out his had and I thought he was going to shake it and so I reciprocated only to find my hand thrust into an inkpot.Still stunned I watched as he expertly place each inky finger onto a page in a notebook.

I looked up questioning towards Julie.

"Nothing to worry about"she said "A month ago we had a break-in and we just do this with everyone now.I'm sure you understand.

Well,us Britons are renowned for not making too much of a fuss especially when we've been taken off guard.

We were shown into the living room where we waited with some other guests.There was no conversation just the occasional flash which enanated through a gap in the curtains.

Over dinner I ventured to ask if it was appropriate to fingerprint guests.Every other guest looked up from there meal eager to hear the reply.

"Well"said Julie "we did have a break-in"

Yes but we are friends and guests.Those that burgled you came broke in uninvited." I said thinking that the distinction was obvious.

"It is precisely because you are all friends that Dave and I know that you will understand our need to protect ourselves and take precautions." she replied.

We left soon after the meal as everyone else appeared to do.My wife said that if it had not been for the fact that we'd driven for an hour just to get there she'd have made us turn straight back around after the fingerprint incident.We crossed them off our invite list and resolved not to go to visit Julie and Dave again.

OK,this strange story is made up but it reflects exactly what will be happening to the 4 million Britons who visit the U.S.A annually after Sept 30th this year.For it is on that date that the 27 nations who are part of a 90 day visa waiver programme will from that point on have to be fingerprinted as they enter the U.S.A.

It is hard to imagine that the U.S authorities have an existing database of terrorists fingerprints to compare millions of tourists dabs against and it is unclear how this database will be stored or to what possible use it will be put to in the future.

What does seem clear is that as soon as the initial stories of two hour post flight waits and personal impositions hit the popular press of 27 friendly nations the desire to visit the U.S will quickly drain.Not too quick to have any effect before the November Presidential election,which is handy as Florida is a top holiday destination,but an effect there surely will be by next year.

Another new innovation is that children,who have up until now been able to travel on their parent's passports,will, after October 26th,need a passport of their own or be turned back.This will effect 400,000 British children alone every year.Even babies will need their own passport.

We will no doubt be told that as friends we should mind less but the truth is we're going to mind more.No other nation as seen fit to introduce such personal impositions and it will be the U.S tourism industry that will be hit most.

Many of us who have travelled to the U.S.A before or have been thinking about spending our holiday money there in the future will certainly be thinking if maybe a trip to the continent might be a better bet where borders are opening and barriers coming down.

Or maybe we'll all just stay at home.

JB1

EDIT: Inserted more tag.

[edit on 8-23-2004 by Valhall]




posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 07:45 AM
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Bravo John Bull 1
If you weren't a mod, I'd give you a RATS vote!!

Imho its going a lil way to far indeed.

Apart from the US citizens needing to give their fingerprints in some states to get their drivers licence, foreign visitors are subjected to the same things and worse. Not to mention that at times the screening when you arive at a US airport is sometimes extremely rude and brutal.

My sister is currently living in New Zealand and going there last year she had to make a stop in LAX. Shes a 5' 250lbs woman that couldn't hurt a fly, even if she wanted to.
She got her Bio Engineer in Agricultural Science Doctors degree some years back and did 2 post doctorats after this and is currently doing her thing to become a full sledged professor with the research in New Zealand.

On ariving at LAX she was screened and just plainly harassed up to the point where she missed her connecting flight to NZ and had to wait a full day at LAX to be able to take another flight to NZ, she wasn't offered a place to stay in the meantime, she was not permitted to leave the LAX compound.

All she was doing in the US was taking a connecting flight to goto New Zealand.

But during her short stay in the US, she had her fingerprints taken, a mugshot made and a 4 hour interogation to go trough.

Her trackrecord as a Bio Engineer has been studies and research for new ways of measuring the storability of all sorts of fruit and research for new techniques to do storage of them.

She has totaly no clue in any othe part of bio engineering then fuit and veggy's.

New Zealand asked her to come over there, for a rather nice salery, because the research she had done up to now was extremely important for everyone in the agricultural bussines, she developed some totaly new techniques to do measurements for storagability and for new techniques for storagability itself.

So you can understand now, that my sister won't even ever think about going to the US again. Her flight back to belgium in December(shes spending the holidays here and will go back to NZ in mid januari) is something she totaly fears to do, because of what she went trough when going to NZ initialy.

Is this what the US wants to look like to the rest of the world?



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 08:39 AM
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While I can understand why you and others like you would be upset by this the fact is as guests in our country you are required to visit by the rules we set down, and have absolutly no say in what those rules are. If you choose not to visit the U.S. as a result that is your choice, but it is also the only other choice you have. Finally I think that this inititive is a good idea as the fact that your government is our governments ally does not make you an ally.



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 08:48 AM
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One of the reasons british citizens are included.
www.cnn.com...



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 08:52 AM
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Originally posted by thematrix
All she was doing in the US was taking a connecting flight to goto New Zealand.

But during her short stay in the US, she had her fingerprints taken, a mugshot made and a 4 hour interogation to go trough.



Is that what happens to everyone now then? Me and my partner are going to New Zealand from here in the UK via LA early next year? Is that what we've got to look forward to?



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 09:34 AM
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Originally posted by AgentSmith
Is that what happens to everyone now then? Me and my partner are going to New Zealand from here in the UK via LA early next year? Is that what we've got to look forward to?


I don't know, but thats what happend to her, maybe it could have to do with her being a bio scientist, I don't know.

Could be you'll be sharing a flight with her, she's due to go back to NZ midle to end of Januari next year.

And mwm, if they need fingerprints taken and questioning done for people entering the US, then they should invite people to go trough this BEFORE they go to the US, so that these people have a choice as to avoid the US.

You already have to request a greencard or visa to visit the US, a process that takes a good part of 3 months. Is the screening of visitors done during the time so bad that they need to put visitors trough a load of crap when ariving too? Or couldn't they just do the interogation or requirement of fingerprints as an attachement to the visum or greencard request??

I was in the US for months before 9/11, noone ever put me trough that kind of #.

[edit on 20-8-2004 by thematrix]



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 09:39 AM
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Well that's swell - seeing as I spend so much time on here and my partner's a Microbiologist..!

We'll be going a little later than that.. Did she have a problem coming back via LA? Or was it just on the way there?

[edit on 20-8-2004 by AgentSmith]



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 09:43 AM
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Originally posted by AgentSmith
Well that's swell - seeing as I spend so much time on here and my partner's a Microbiologist..!

We'll be going a little later than that.. Did she have a problem coming back via LA? Or was it just on the way there?

[edit on 20-8-2004 by AgentSmith]


Shes been there since october last year and will be comming back mid december this year.
So I don't know how it'll be when she comes trough LAX when she's comming back.

She's just comming back in december and januari for Xmas.



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 09:44 AM
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I am going to said this, no invitation or dinner is going to take a fingerprinting out of me, they can take their dinner and put it where the sun does not shine friend or not friend.


Good scenario.

Anyway what can I say welcome to democratic US and have a good vacation.



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 09:48 AM
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Oh well, let me know what happens!
Shame really, our original flights were through Singapore, but we booked to late and it ended up through LA.

And I'm technically 1/8 American anyway! Jeez I can't believe what things are coming to.



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 11:38 AM
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Perhaps you should get to NZ from the UK a different way if you are uncomfortable with our procedures. Instead of going through the US, why don't you just go the other direction and take a connecting flight from one of the peaceful Islamic nations or those nice friendly people in China or Russia?

Since apparently everyone else in the world hates the US anyway, why would you want to fly through here? Since we are supposedly the source of all the evil in the world, why would you want to put yourself in our power by flying through our airspace or using our airport facilities?

I guess I just don't get it.



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 11:55 AM
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You do have to admit it's a bit unpleasant to be harrassed, treated like terrorist scum and being forced to miss your flight when your trying to go on holiday.
I never said I don't like America, I'm proud of the little itty part of me that is. Talk about way over reacting.

Taking photos and fingerprints is one thing, but a 4 hour interrogation and having to sit in an airport all day during an already very long flight isn't exactly hospitable, is it?

Maybe you should take some sedatives or something as you seem to be prone to excessively aggressive outbursts?

An attitude like that just adds fuel to the fire imo.



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 12:51 PM
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"prone to excessively aggressive outbursts"

Nope, just tired of the USA being taken for granted by everyone else on the planet. People bask in the freedom that the US helped to maintain and then bitch about the ways we have to come up with to protect ourselves from the rest of you.

Like I said, if you don't like it, don't fly here. Are you telling me that you can't fly from one side of the world to the other without the help of the hated USA? Were you forced to fly here? At what point was a gun held to your head?

On a personal note, I find it amazing that you can form a value judgement about me from reading one of my posts. Please point out how my post is excessively aggressive (never find that on ATS do we?) or how you can decide that I'm prone to such things.

Dispite your personal attack, I stand by my opinion. If you don't like the US, then don't come here. If you don't like our procedures, then don't put yourself in a position where you can be affected by them. Getting you from the UK to NZ safely and in comfort for your holiday is not really our concern at the moment.

Have a nice flight...



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 12:55 PM
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Ambient Sound
Perhaps you should get to NZ from the UK a different way if you are uncomfortable with our procedures.


As I said before, other nations should start ear-tagging and/or chipping visitors from the United States. This just for their and our safety of course....


[edit on 20-8-2004 by Hoaks]



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 01:22 PM
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Originally posted by Hoaks
As I said before, other nations should start ear-tagging and/or chipping visitors from the United States. This just for their and our safety of course....



That would be the choice of other nations and I would of course be free not to fly to one of those countries or visit there if I didn't like it, now wouldn't I?

Your responces to my original statement have so far been personal attacks or retalitory (which is what people do when they don't actually have a valid arguement), but none of them have explained why any of you from other countries have the right to complain about how we do things internally in the United States when it comes to our own security.



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 01:34 PM
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Just to clarify.Everyone who visits the U.S.A after September 30th will be fingerprinted on arrival no matter who you are.


While I can understand why you and others like you would be upset by this the fact is as guests in our country you are required to visit by the rules we set down, and have absolutly no say in what those rules are. If you choose not to visit the U.S. as a result that is your choice, but it is also the only other choice you have.


I'm not too upset about the new rules because as you point out mwm1331 I have a choice and I ,like possibly millions of other potential tourists from Great Britain and around the world who may have considered going on holiday to the U.S.A and spending our money ,will be put off by the thought of being treated like a common criminal.

Hey! as you say your country,your rules.

My holiday,my money,my human rights!

Really there is no choice but I'll still have a holiday it just won't be in the U.S.A.

It will be your airlines,your hotels,and your tourist attractions that will suffer not my fortnight or my dignity.


[edit on 20-8-2004 by John bull 1]



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 02:17 PM
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""""""My holiday,my money,my human rights!

Really there is no choice but I'll still have a holiday it just won't be in the U.S.A.

It will be your airlines,your hotels,and your tourist attractions that will suffer not my fortnight or my dignity. """""


This has nothing to do with you John bull 1, I'm just using this as an example, its not a personal attack. Tourism in the U.S. is supported by Americans. I'd say anywhere from 90 to 95% of visitors to other states are people from within America. Not having foreigners visit really doesn't hurt anyone. In fact, I'm more then sure most people will be glad when foreigners leave. That being said I like foreigners, visiting. It encourages international friendliness, and knowledge of foreign people. I've been to Canada, Mexico, and in three weeks I am going to Japan for two months. In Japan i will be forced to carry whats called a "Gaijin" card. This card is given to all foreigners to carry at all times. Any cop can ask a "foreign" looking person for there card, for any reason, and if you don't have it they arrest you. Now this is clearly Xenophobic, racist, and many other bad words, but you know what, IT"S THERE COUNTRY SO I GUESS I HAVE TO DO IT. I met 4 people from England 2 from France and 3 from Spain when i went to college, they were all in my dorm. Good people. They come from good countries. But people who are not from your country can pretend they are with a visa, and screw us over, that's why they do it. Now you can say, ok, only muslims, will got through this procedure. But your country and my country won't have the balls to say it, so everyone suffers for it. It really is that simple. That's the same reason I, a 6'4 White man got pulled over for a security check when a group of arabs didn't. False PC BS. IN a few years we'll revert to the old systems and it won't be a problem.



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 02:50 PM
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Well as I said in my first post 4 million Britons visit the U.S.A alone every year and if you don't think that is going to have any impact on your economy then you are seriously misimformed.

Perhaps it's just that we don't like being fingerprinted or watching our children being fingerprined and having no idea what the imformation is going to be used for or how long it's going to be kept.

BUT really there is no argument here.

It's your country!

We can laugh and joke about anal probing for U.S visitors to our country as a reciprocal measure but we're too civilised to do that.

Your country!

My money!

Your economy!

And if you really are so ill imformed as to believe it will make no difference then I'd say keep those blinkers on because when you the tax payer are bailing out your airlines and other industries dependent on visitors you won't want to know about that either.

[edit on 20-8-2004 by John bull 1]



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 03:05 PM
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My holiday,my money,my human rights!


What human rights we here in US are starting to lose that and our civil rights.



posted on Aug, 20 2004 @ 03:22 PM
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ITV showed a program about travellers from the UK going to the USA.

It wasn't a balanced view, it only showed the stories about people who had a hard time from Homeland Security, but that was the point - it was one of those 'Holidays from Hell' programs.
What it did show was worrying in the sense that these situations would never occur prior to 9/11:

Fingerprints and DNA samples being taken.
Placed into arm and ankle chains and holding cells for long periods of time.
Interrogation without recourse to legal aid.

Basically being treated as guilty before innocent.
All the people in the program were innocent, one had a driving fine from a previous US visit.

It would seem anyone is a potential terrorist in the eyes of the authorities and some of the citizens of the USA and that can only be a bad thing, to live life in fear.

A global database of biometric data will not prevent people from doing bad things to one another.
Although it is a step towards a surveillance society, or a giant leap.

This is a mute point anyway, soon biometric data will be required to travel from the UK - you will need a passport and that will contain a microchip embedded with your fingerprints and iris pattern. The USA just needs a scanner like the one in the supermarket to enter the details into the global terrorist database.

Do people want security more than freedom?
Time will tell. . .

[edit on 20-8-2004 by shanti23]



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