Fingerprint Exit Scans Only for US Visitors

The story that we'll all have to undergo fingerprint scans to leave the US is apparently false, at least for now.

It got wide currency, e.g. Slashdot's Homeland Security To Scan Citizens Exiting US, but according to Stewart Baker, ex Dept. of Homeland Security policy czar, it's not quite true; instead, only foreigners will be subjected to the fingerprint screening on exit. As Baker notes, this isn't really a security measure (since whatever harm the exiting person might have committed is a done deal by then), but rather about immigration controls. And the (not cost-effective) scans are something mandated by Congress, not a choice made by either the Bush or Obama administrations.

I think there would be some constitutional issues in requiring a fingerprint scan to exit the US (but not, alas, if foreign countries require it as a condition of entry, and airlines do it here to save the cost of returning travelers who are held undesirable). But that's for another day, it seems

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