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Senate Judiciary Committee members suggest modeling border security on Disney

May 17, 2013

You know how when you go to the theme parks these days, you’re asked to stick your finger into the little reader at the gate so it can scan you before you enter? This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee discussed using that technology as a model for the United States to keep tabs on who should be allowed to enter and exit the country. Sen. John Cornyn suggested at a hearing that Disney’s use of biometrics – taking of specific unique measurements of fingerprints, iris scans and the like to connect people to their tickets, hotel rooms, photos and other amenities – should be an example the federal government should follow at its borders. Thehe idea came from Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who told him about Disney’s biometric system, which scans people’s faces and fingerprints to help prevent ticket faud.

“My conversations with Senator Rubio, he happened to share with me that Disney World uses a biometric system to ensure people do not commit ticket fraud,” Cornyn said. “If they are that easy, affordable and good enough for the Magic Kingdom, they ought to be good enough for the United States.”

The conversation apparently happened after Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions introduced an amendment to an immigration-reform bill that would require fingerprinting and iris scanning of people entering and leaving the country. Using biometrics has been considered in the past but has proven to be too difficult and expensive to put into place. Some committee members pointed out that, while Disney is using biometrics effectively at its parks, it’s only manning three entrances; the United States border patrol has to keep tabs on 329. The amendment was defeated. No word on whether the Senate discussed the use of FastPasses to make it easier for people with money to skip the lines at the border to Mexico and Canada.



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