Congressman Michael McCaul

Congressman Michael McCaul at a recent House Homeland Security Committee hearing on biometrics.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Covering Katy News) - Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX) supports using biometrics to keep criminal aliens from entering the United States. McCaul represents a portion of the Katy area in Congress.

Immigrant and privacy advocates are concerned about the policy. The new rules would allow the government to collect DNA from children and those who seek asylum at legal ports of entry.

“The 9/11 Commission recommended the use of biometrics for leaving and entering the United States," McCaul said at a recent Congressional hearing. "I believe that technology is our friend in stopping terrorists and bad actors from entering this country.” 

McCaul is the lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Chairman Emeritus of the House Homeland Security Committee.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, American citizens can opt-out of providing biometrics for the entry-exit system. Once Custom Border Protection verifies that an individual is a U.S. Citizen from their passport or review of the technology, they are excluded from biometric tracking requirements. Simply put, you can opt-out of having your picture taken. 

In 2018, Congressman McCaul introduced the Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program (BITMAP) to reauthorize the successful DHS biometric program started under the Obama Administration. This technology helps Homeland Security officials identify bad actors, like terrorists, human traffickers, or transnational criminals, who use fake documents, from entering our country. This legislation passed the House, 272-119, with support on both sides of the aisle.

Currently, DHS can identify individuals who pose a national security threat when they come into our hemisphere. DHS is then able to work with its partners and establish who the individual is on a biometric basis.

Since 2011, BITMAP has enrolled more than 460 known or suspected terrorists. People can alter, steal, borrow or purchase documents to enter our country, but their biometrics will not lie according to McCaul.

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