PDN Bridge inspectors to check fingerprints

US Customs and Border Protection

US inspectors at the main pedestrian crossing between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez will begin checking border-crossers’ fingerprints in a project aimed at speeding traffic and better identifying travelers, US Customs and Border Protection said in a news release.

“This system provides CBP a higher confidence level in identifying the traveler through enhanced biometrics,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso port director. “There are many benefits to be realized, including more efficient processing because we are eliminating manual data entry.”

The new system is expected to be put into use in November at the Paso del Norte Bridge south of Downtown El Paso, the agency said.

The system requires a set of high quality fingerprints to be on file and linked with an entry document.

In order to increase the population of travelers who will have access to this system a team of CBP officers currently stationed at the PDN pedestrian area and will spend the next two weeks collecting biometric data from frequent border crossers.

Non-US citizens who have older border crossing cards or legal permanent resident cards — issued before 2008 — or those who have not applied for an I-94 travel permit in the last three years, must submit their fingerprints to participate in the pilot project. If a traveler has been identified as having fingerprints on file, he or she already will have been added to the database and there will be no need to resubmit, the agency said.

The new system will use RFID and biometric data to expedite the entry process. Three existing pedestrian lanes will be used during the system pilot. Those lanes will be equipped with a gated system in which a travelers’ RFID-enabled document will be read and fingerprints scanned before they approach the inspection station. The CBP officer working the primary inspection booth will receive results of the biometric verification and all required information before the pedestrian arrives at the inspection station.

“It is expected that this system will speed the entry process while also enhancing overall security,” Mancha said.

 

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