More fingers required to enter U.S.

Airport passengers have their fingerprints scanned.


Scott Jagow: Foreign visitors who land at Dulles airport today will have to give 10. As in 10 fingers. Homeland Security is rolling out a new security system that requires all 10 fingerprints instead of just two. Many more airports will be doing this for foreign visitors starting next year. Here's Jeremy Hobson.

Jeremy Hobson: The fingerprints will be compared with growing government watchlists -- to catch, as Anna Hinken of U.S.-VISIT puts it:

Anna Hinken: Dangerous people that we don't want in the United States.

Hinken says having 10 fingerprints will give the government a big advantage. She says the system will cost upwards of $200 million. But some say the price may be much higher.

Geoff Freeman: When you don't ask people for their business and you only put up barriers, the end result is very predictable.

Geoff Freeman is with Discover America, a group of business leaders trying to boost the number of tourists here in the U.S. Freeman says government figures show a 17 percent drop in foreign visitors since 9/11 has cost the nation $100 billion and 200,000 jobs.

Freeman: And much of that decline is due to a negative perception of the entry experience.

Freeman says if 10 fingerprints are needed, the U.S. needs to do a better job telling foreign visitors why.

In Washington, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.


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