The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced its intent to publish a rule in July 2020 that would require all international travelers at airports to be photographed when they enter or leave the country. These photographs would then be put into a nationwide system using facial recognition technology. This requirement would apply not only to non-citizens but to American citizens, as well. DHS has provided no further details about how such a program might work or be used to assist the government in its efforts to deal with various immigration issues. However, in the past, DHS has hinted at using the technology to identify fraudulent usage of travel documents and potential terrorists.
At least one legislator indicated that he would act immediately to propose legislation to block the measure for American citizens, citing previous data breaches by DHS. Although many airports are currently experimenting with facial recognition technology, American citizens have the right to opt out at this point, although few citizens exercise their right to do so. One report by DHS stated that facial recognition technology is one of the most effective and quickest ways to address border issues. The agency claims that the privacy intrusion posed by the technology is minimal, as the photographs are subject to deletion within 12 hours.
In the past, the federal government has repeatedly assured opponents of facial recognition technology that American citizens would be exempt from the procedures. The government now appears to have backtracked on those promises, at least at this point.
The immigration attorneys of Peek & Toland have the experience that you need when you are seeking any relief or benefit under federal immigration laws. We will determine the facts and evidence that are relevant to your case, evaluate your options, and help you decide the best course of action for your situation. We intend to place you in the best position possible to achieve your goals. Contact our Texas immigration attorneys at our office today and learn how we can assist you through this complicated situation.