- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 5, 2002

The Bush administration is proposing to photograph, fingerprint and get detailed information from thousands more foreign visitors to the United States, law enforcement officials said yesterday.
Under the plan, the Justice Department would expand the reach of an existing law to keep better track of tourists, business travelers, students and temporary workers considered possible security threats.
Justice Department officials declined to comment on the plan, details of which are expected to be announced this week.
Attorney General John Ashcroft would not respond to a reporter's questions about the plan as he made his way to a meeting with House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr.
The Wisconsin Republican has been a leading critic of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which has acknowledged since September 11 gaps in tracking foreigners in the country.
Mr. Sensenbrenner's aides declined to comment on whether the proposal was discussed during the meeting with Mr. Ashcroft, who has begun a number of initiatives since the September 11 attacks to better track foreign visitors.
Foreigners seeking to live in the United States are photographed, fingerprinted and must provide detailed background information to the government. But the same is not required of most visitors.
Mr. Ashcroft is seeking to expand a 1998 rule that requires visitors from Libya, Iraq, Sudan and Iran to register with the government and be fingerprinted and photographed.
The rule could be applied to people from as many as 35 countries under the proposal, a law enforcement source said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
However, people from any country could be required to register if something in their background brings them to the attention of U.S. officials, the source said.
Judy Golub of the American Immigration Lawyers Association said the proposal could be a step on the slippery slop to requiring all people to carry government identification cards.

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