RealNews

U.S. Starts Fingerprinting Russians

U.S. Embassy officials started taking fingerprints of Russians hoping to visit the United States on Tuesday, in a security measure that might exacerbate an already tense issue in U.S.-Russian relations and raises the specter of a tit-for-tat response. According to U.S. legislation drafted after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, all nonimmigrant visa applicants between the ages of 14 and 80 must provide prints of their left and right index fingers as part of their applications by Oct. 26, 2004. The requirement kicked in for Russian citizens Tuesday. U.S. Ambassador Alexander Vershbow demonstrated the new biometric technology to reporters Tuesday, taking his own fingerprints with a special scanner. “The goal of this improved technology is to make international travel safer and more convenient by relying less on passports and visas, which are subject to tampering and misuse,” Vershbow said, adding that the process was “clean, fast and simple.” Full Story

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