U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is required by various congressional and presidential mandates to implement a biometric entry/exit system. As part of our ongoing efforts to safeguard the Nation’s border and facilitate legitimate travel and trade, CBP published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register on November 19, 2020, which proposes that all aliens may be required to provide photographs upon entry into and/or departure from the United States. Additionally, this rule proposes to amend existing regulations to eliminate references to pilot programs, as well as other limitations on the collection of biometrics from aliens. While the proposed rule does not apply to U.S. Citizens, U.S. Citizens may voluntarily participate in order to fulfill mandated identity and citizenship verification requirements, which are currently conducted manually. As always, U.S. Citizens may request alternative screening procedures, consistent with the traditional inspection process.
The comment period originally closed on December 21, 2020; based on comments received on the NPRM, CBP has decided to re-open the comment period for an additional 30 days. As part of CBP’s continued commitment to transparency and accountability, CBP welcomes feedback from the public on the NPRM. Comments can be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal, using the agency name and docket number USCBP-2020-0062. Due to COVID-19 related restrictions, CBP has temporarily suspended its ability to receive public comments by mail. Comments will be accepted until Month xx, 2021. As mentioned in the NPRM, additional information about CBP’s use of biometric facial recognition technology can be found in CBP’s Traveler Verification Service Privacy Impact Assessment and CBP’s recently updated biometrics website.
Department of Homeland Security