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Congressman Gus Bilirakis

Representing the 12th District of Florida

House to Consider Gus' Biometric ID Bill

July 28, 2008
Bilirakis Blog

When the House reconvenes tomorrow for the final week of session prior to the August district work period one of Gus' bills, H.R. 2490, will be fifth on the agenda.

5) H.R. 2490 - To require the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a pilot program for the mobile biometric identification in the maritime environment of aliens unlawfully attempting to enter the United States (Sponsored by Rep. Bilirakis / Homeland Security Committee)

Biometric IDH.R. 2940 would create a pilot program enabling the U.S. Coast Guard, the lead federal agency for maritime homeland security, to collect biometric information on waterborne aliens and screen them against existing federal databases of those wanted for immigration violations and other transgressions of U.S. laws. The bill also requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to evaluate the results to determine the feasibility and appropriateness of expanding such capability throughout the DHS maritime border system.

"The instant processing of illegal aliens in our maritime domain through biometric identifiers is critical to clamping down on immigration violators, criminals, previous deportees and possible terrorists,” said Bilirakis. “Without it, these often repeat offenders will continue to bounce off our existing maritime border security efforts until they successfully gain entry into the United States."

The legislation has garnered widespread support as it has previously passed the House as an amendment to the Coast Guard Authorization Act and the Homeland Security Committee.