The state of America’s entry-exit capability is a core issue in the ongoing immigration debate. This analysis shows that exit records, and particularly biometric exit records, offer mixed value for enforcement objectives.
Discussions about preventing unauthorized immigration often focus on the U.S. border with Mexico—and more specifically, securing the areas between legal ports of entry (POE). Equally relevant to border security are the POEs themselves, where legal entry of people and goods occurs under the direction of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—the agency charged with securing America’s borders. Between the POEs, CBP’s Border Patrol officers mostly focus on preventing illegal entries and illicit trade. At the ports themselves, however, CBP must balance its prevention and security efforts with another imperative: to facilitate the efficient flow of commerce and travel.