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New technology for US immigration processing

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US immigration authorities are to begin testing radio frequency (RF)technology on the country's borders in a bid to improve efficiency andsecurity, the US Department of Homeland Security announced on January25.

The technology will involve issuing unique identifiers topedestrians and vehicle passengers crossing the border to automaticallyrecord their arrival and departure. It is part of the US VISIT program,which has upgraded entry procedures and introduced biometric identitychecks at 50 land entry points, 115 airports and 15 seaports.

Simulatedtesting will begin this spring and will then be expanded to a number ofports that reflect different weather and traffic conditions. These willbe Nogales East and Nogales West in Arizona; Alexandria Bay in NewYork; and, Pacific Highway and Peace Arch in Washington. The test phaseis expected to be completed by spring 2006.

"Through the use ofradio frequency technology, we see the potential to not only improvethe security of our country, but also to make the most importantinfrastructure enhancements to the US land borders in more than fiftyyears. Working with our border partners, we intend to see that it'sdone in the right way and at the right pace," said Asa Hutchinson,Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security for the UnitedStates Department of Homeland Security.

See our US immigration pages for more information about entry requirements to America.