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Fingerprinting to enter US

Travel Forums General Talk Fingerprinting to enter US

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1. Posted by Intrepid A (Budding Member 70 posts) 10y

I was shocked to learn that to enter the US for 9 days I would be fingerprinted. When I asked if it was OK to refuse I was told by my ticket issuer that my "life would be made very difficult at passport control" and unless I had something to hide I should "just do it".

Urm... why? It is an invasion of my privacy like taking my DNA without asking...if I haven't done anything wrong why must I be fingerprinted?

Can I refuse? What are the consequences if I refuse?

Does anyone else think this is a bit over the top & and infringement on your rights as a human being to privacy? It's reminiscent of Nazi Germany, Communist China, Vietnam & Russia.

Has anyone encoutered fingerprinting & has anyone refused to do it?

2. Posted by jono87 (Budding Member 4 posts) 10y

If uve got nothing to hide then why should it matter?

3. Posted by larondey (Full Member 105 posts) 10y

I see no issues with this, but I do wonder why US citizens don't need to be fingerprinted also (you think this would be a good way to catch criminals/terrorists from our own country!).

4. Posted by moutallica (Respected Member 122 posts) 10y

I understand where you're coming from. It's a huge invasion of privacy. I've got nothing to hide but I was sure surprised when I landed in LAX and saw that they were doing this. Luckily, they don't fingerprint Canadians, because I may have refused and who knows what kind of trouble I could have gotten into.

But the thing is, they aren't forcing it on anyone. It is your choice. If you choose to go to the USA, then you are choosing to be fingerprinted.

5. Posted by Zoom (Full Member 131 posts) 10y

This is the first time I've heard of this and I'm disgusted that this is being done.
I'm an American citizen but I've had it with this country and am very determined to eventually move out of here for good (but unlike many travelers I won't have any desire to visit once I'm gone). If I was you Intrepid A i would very politely tell them that you don't want to be fingerprinted and refuse to allow then to do so. Just keep it POLITE or the cowboys will start playing games with you. They're very insecure macho types at the Airport + they're bored and mainly idiots so don't fall into their trap. It's up to you how much you want to resist. Enjoy the US because it's quickly becoming George Orwell's "1984". BTW, Bush and his supporters always say he's protecting us from terrorism. What about 9/11? that was terrorism that happened on his watch and he didn't protect us from ANYTHIHG !! So he's already screwed up once and now he's suppose to be protecting us from Terror attack 2. I doubt it, look at how he handled the Hurricaine as it DESTROYED New Orleans. A day late and a dollar short - just like 9/11 - the GW Bush story. All talk but no action from the macho Cowboy. Zoom

6. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 10y

I think it is just a sign of the times. Do any of us really have privacy anymore? Your on someone radar somewhere. :( And it seems like every time you turn around it only gets worse. I agree with Zoom about the 'big brother' feeling....and I have always distrusted/disliked Baby Bush (and his daddy) but...I've been finger printed for a few places of employment (including being one of those 'insecure' people at the airport ) So they already have mine..giving them out again is no big deal for me.
I guess I would ask, voice my concern, probably even debate a little...but if it comes down to being finger printed-getting in or refusing-being turned away....it is up to you.

7. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4835 posts) 10y

Quoting jono87

If uve got nothing to hide then why should it matter?

This is one of the worst logical fallacies, and it scares me that more and more I see it uttered completely serious whenever privacy is debated.
First, to get Godwin out of the way (he was invoked since the first post anyway) - the jews had nothing to hide.
Maybe I have to hide that I disagree with the current government. Maybe I have to hide that I went to a protest against that government. Maybe I want to get into politics myself later. Maybe I have to hide from an ex-wife and her divorce-lawyer, Maybe I have to hide from a stalker. Maybe I have to hide from blackmail by corrupt government officials, maybe...? (Everyone is a criminal to some degree.)

Remember that saying about power corrupting? Governments have been engaged in a mad power grab for the last couple of years... And ever heard of the phrase "chilling effects"?

Terrorism has nothing to do with this. Fingerprinting does not increase security. (Bruce Schneier is one of the world's leading security experts.) Fingerprinting is purely about tracking people, about being a police-state, where everyone quietly gives away their rights and is afraid of doing anything that displeases the government.
Beyond that:

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -- Benjamin Franklin

Intrepid A: I'm ashamed to say I went along with fingerprinting sheep-like the last two times I went to the USA. My reasons for wanting to enter the country seemed stronger in my mind than my outrage and willingness to confront this abomination.
I suspect you'll be denied your request for a visa waiver if you refuse to be fingerprinted, and so will have to leave the country again. (With the visa waiver you waive any right you might've had to a fair procedure, although I don't know if that'd actually hold up or is just legalese designed to make people not try to go against it.) But if at all possible, I think you should totally refuse. Someone needs to stand up against this. Lots of someones. (Just don't let it be me - I'm a frightened sheep.) :(

8. Posted by tallbird (Respected Member 269 posts) 10y

I didn't realise that US citizens didn't need to give their fingerprints! I thought everyone did, so I just went along with it (Hey Sander, I'm a sheep too! :( )
It is quite a weird conceipt that they don't fingerprint US citizens! Does Bush truly believe that a US citizen would not terrorize his own country????? Wake up, Mr President.... look at the Oklahoma Bombings and London bombings- both committed by their own citizens!

9. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

I believe you have to have an eye scan taken, too. Being Canadian, I so far get to skip all that, but my Northern Irish b/f had to be scanned, fingerprinted and grilled before being let on the plane from Montreal to New Orleans. It really was like watching someone being interrogated - we were both boiling, but trying not to peeve off the severly serious guard.

10. Posted by tallbird (Respected Member 269 posts) 10y

The worst place I have ever experienced customs was in Toronto Airport funnily enough (very surprising since I find Canada in general one of the friendliest nations!). I was pulled over four times between getting off the plane and getting to baggage reclaim and questioned about why I was travelling from Trinidad to Toronto when I had a UK passport. The conceipt of living in Trinidad and showing them my residence visa was obviously lost on them. Once I had my baggage I was then told to queue in a different section where I had to wait for a further 30 minutes (and almost missing the last bus into downtown) before someone turned up to search my bags. Nobody answered my questions on why I had to wait (there were other officers around that could have searched my bag) and nobody would tell me how long I would have to wait. :(
I understand that obviously drugs smuggling is a big thing and they have to be thorough, but this was extreme. I felt like a right criminal and even started wondering whether someone might have planted drugs on me!

Sorry, slightly digressed from original thread!

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