US Customs and Border Protection has expanded the reach of its biometric border control program with new deployments in the Caribbean.
The agency recently announced that Simplified Arrival had come to the L.F. Wade International Airport in Bermuda, and the Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau, Bahamas.
Simplified Arrival uses facial recognition to match travelers to their official identity documents. CBP has been expanding the reach of the program to a growing number of airports in an effort to establish a national biometric entry/exit program.
The program is primarily aimed at enhancing national security, with CBP asserting that it is the product of a Congressional mandate – a stance that the American Civil Liberties Union has contested on the grounds that the mandate applies only to screening foreign nationals.
In any case, CBP Preclearance Director of Field Operations Clint Lamm emphasized the benefits of Simplified Arrival’s contactless approach to security screening.
“Given today’s health concerns, biometric facial comparison technology can play a key role in helping the travel industry address COVID-19 health and safety risks by implementing seamless processes,” he said. “Combining Simplified Arrival with our Preclearance procedures will not only help us process passengers more efficiently, but it will allow us to better protect traveler and officer safety.”
CBP says that so far, over 56 million travelers have undergone Simplified Arrival’s biometric screening process at air, land, and sea ports, and that the program has prevented over 300 imposters from illegally entering the United States since September of 2018.
December 23, 2020 – by Alex Perala