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Immigration Fingerprint Proposal Would Apply To NYC Airports

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TWC News: Immigration Fingerprint Proposal Would Apply To NYC Airports
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As Congress works on a comprehensive immigration bill, a new amendment would require all foreigners to be fingerprinted when they leave the U.S. through the nation's 30 busiest airports.

The measure would require the 10 busiest airports in the country - including JFK in Queens - to establish a fingerprinting system in the next two years.

The other 20 -- including Newark and LaGuardia -- would have six years to do it.

The system is intended to help keep better track of where visitors to the U.S. are coming from and where they are going.

Air travelers who spoke with NY1 at JFK mostly agreed with the proposed measure.

"There's a lot of immigrants that come in, and once they reach here in the country they stay here. Even if their visa is expired. Once they reach the United States, this is their base. This is their home," said one air traveler.

"If the American government feels that this is what's important they have their intelligence and they know what should be done. I'm not questioning that. I don't have any problem with that," said another air traveler.

"You have to know who is here, who is not here, when to come, when to go," said a third air traveler.

The new amendment is a step toward a more expansive biometric system that many senators favor but was considered too expensive to include in the bill.

Senator Charles Schumer was among those who voted down a biometrics amendment, although he says the scans could be in place within about five years.

Meanwhile, a local immigrants rights advocacy group has concerns.

"About the effect it will have on peoples' privacy rights as well as concerns about selective enforcement. We don't want to see a situation where only people from particular countries may be fingerprinted or other racial profiling taking place," said Jacqueline Esposito of the New York Immigration Coalition.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on the immigration reform bill Wednesday night.

If passed, will then head to the senate floor.

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