Search
  • George Farag

Common Sense Choked Into Submission

It’s long overdue that kids are fingerprinted at immigrant shelters in the U.S. It mirrors the process used for kids at Embassies abroad. It seems like common sense that immigrant kids in America undergo the same fingerprinting process as immigrant kids abroad. But right now politicizing anything for partisan gain is a combat sport. Common sense has taken a Connor McGregor pounding and has been choked into submission.


On February 5, 2020, the media was taking its battle positions to prepare for the Senate’s vote on the Trump Impeachment. Talking heads, inflammatory rhetoric, and a continuous onslaught of “expert” analysis jockeyed for position in the impeachment frenzy.


#ICE directive allows the agency to collect fingerprints from immigrants over 14 years old who are in shelters in America.

Lost in the commotion was the Buzzfeed News headline ICE Is Now Fingerprinting Immigrants As Young As 14 Years Old by Hamad Aleaziz. The article explain that a new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) directive allows the agency to collect fingerprints from immigrants over 14 years old who are in immigration shelters inside America.


It's About Time


It’s about time I thought. How could this not already be happening for kids who are crossing the border? The U.S. government has been using biometric information such as pictures and fingerprints to identify travelers, young and old, coming to America for decades. When I was a Consular Officer in the Middle East I took the fingerprints of all visa applicants who were 14 years old and above during the interview process.


The person just puts their fingers on a machine that digitally takes their fingerprints. It’s as easy as taking a digital picture. The collected fingerprints are used for security purposes. They are compared against existing biometric databases, including the system that provides information for law enforcement and border protection.




This process happens at Embassy’s all over the world from Argentina to Austria. For example in Denmark all applicant 14 years old and over who are applying for immigrant visas have their fingerprints taken. It is a fast, efficient, and respectful way to keep track of who is traveling to America.


Fingerprints of all immigrant visa applicants 14 years old and above are taken during the interview process at Embassies abroad.

Why shouldn’t the same process be used to identify and track kids who are crossing America’s southern border? Fingerprinting kids at shelters is an efficient, effective, and non-intrusive way to confirm where these kids are and where they are going.


Queue the Outrage


Queue the outrage. On her website Democratic Representative #RosaDeLauro, chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education blasts the initiative. She said, “Make no mistake: ICE’s intention is to intimidate and scare children by entering these shelters.”


Fingerprinting kids at immigrant shelters in America is an efficient, effective, and non-intrusive way to confirm where these kids are and where they are going.

She continues by saying, “I will leverage every resource I have as Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee that funds HHS to ensure this policy is overturned…and not enforce the racist immigration policies of President Trump and Stephen Miller.”


It's Not Racist. It's Policy


Taking fingerprints of kids intending to immigrate to the U.S. is done at Embassies all over the world. Why is it considered racist to do the same with foreign kids who are at immigration shelters in America? It is not racist. It is policy.


It's also infuriating that my tax dollars would be used to continue the partisan war. I don’t want my tax dollars used by Representative DeLauro to try (likely unsuccessfully) to overturn a process that treats foreign kids at immigrant shelters in America the same way as intending immigrant kids at Embassies abroad. It does not make sense.


I also fault Congress, including Representative DeLauro for not requiring the fingerprints of kids at immigrant shelters to be taken before. Until now identifying kids relied on foreign documents with biographic information. Imagine a handwritten document with a picture stapled on it.

I don’t want my tax dollars used to overturn a process that treats foreign kids at immigrant shelters in America the same way as intending immigrant kids at Embassies abroad.

This is horrifying. It is commonplace to create or obtain fraudulent documents along the southern border. That puts these kids in danger. Without fingerprints children who may have been smuggled or trafficked would not be correctly identified. Biometric data is exponentially more accurate, secure, and safe to identify and track these kids.


It’s long overdue that kids are fingerprinted at immigrant shelters in the U.S. It mirrors the process used for kids at Embassies abroad. It seems like common sense that immigrant kids in America undergo the same fingerprinting process as immigrant kids abroad. But right now politicizing anything for partisan gain is a combat sport. Common sense has taken a Connor McGregor pounding and has been choked into submission.

6 views