Immigration Reading

Here’s some stuff I have been reading (via Perverse Access Memory).

  • Matt Welch posts about some of the problems immigrants had in the US in the past and how people consider that era now to be whitewashed into nice assimilation of immigrants.
  • Henry Farrell writes about his recent experience with immigration requirements while returning to the US with a one-way ticket.
  • Here’s a New York Times article about the Mexican ID being accepted for identification in some cities in the Midwest.
  • Also a USA Today report about immigrants moving into the interior from expensive states like California and New York.
  • And finally a NY Times article about biometric identifiers for visas and passports.

It should be remembered that if we require visitors to have passports with biometric data for the visa waiver program, for example, then the other countries might start implementing it for Americans since most of these requirements are generally reciprocal.

The article does have its share of goofs:

Biometric systems tested by the United States at the Mexican border have been sensitive enough to distinguish between identical twins.

What does that mean? Any data on false positives as well as negatives?

Under the new standards, countries would also be allowed to add additional biometric technologies to the passports, like fingerprints or iris scans.

Now photographs and fingerprints are well-established, but iris scans? Do we really want to get our irises scanned?

But Mr. Shagnon said the passport system relies partly on facial measurements that do not change as people age or even get plastic surgery.

Now really? Every facial recognition system breaks down at some point. A good system must be able to differentiate among millions of people while at the same time being robust to lighting, facial expression and changes in facial appearance from day to day. I am not considering pose here since it can be assumed that for applications like this the subject will be facing the camera.

Author: Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer

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