The US immigration policy of fingerprinting and photographing isn’t new. I’ve been enduring the delays it causes without much complaint for the last 2 or so years (maybe even longer). My passport is filled with these silly pieces of paper from the US Vsiti exit machines that no-one seems to have a clue what you’re supposed to do with. But then I entered the US today.

“Which countries have you visited?”

The question was straight forward enough, but lets face it I’ve been to a lot countries. I sought clarification from the woman behind the desk.

“Ever? This month? This year?”

“I’ll make it easy for you. Have you ever visited….(removed for fear of – well you know)”

Saying yes to anyn of the countries listed was not going to be good, but honesty being the best policy I replied yes to one of the list. So, it ws off to secondary questionning. The room was full of people who had either not had some vital of piece of information or had answered the same questions as I had. Not good.

The eventual outcome was fine and all was well, but the questions I had to answer were stupid in the extreme. “When had I last been there? How long had I stayed? Why was I there?” – which for anyone who knows what I do for a living will be pretty damn obvious. The fact I was in uniform sitting opposite her might have been a give away? Perhaps not.

One of the other people there had visited the country in question 17 years before. Every time he is asked now he will end up going through this same process. It may only take 30 mins, but that’s 30 mins every time. Surely there is a better way?