Statement of Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Ranking Member
Before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee
Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism and Government Information
"Biometric Identifiers and the Modern Face of
New Technologies in the Global War on Terrorism"
Madame Chairwoman, I want to thank you and Senator Kyl for holding
this important hearing. I also want to thank the two of you for your
steadfast resolve in helping lead our nation's fight against terrorism.
Just recently, your bipartisan support proved invaluable to our efforts
to enact the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, which provided much-need antiterrorism
tools to our law enforcement and intelligence communities.
While the USA PATRIOT Act is a critical first step, more can - and
must - be done to protect our nation from terrorists. In particular,
we need to tighten our border security, including our overseas embassies
and consulates that function as our extended borders, against terrorists.
The "Visa Entry Reform Act of 2001," recently introduced by
the Chairwoman, Senator Kyl, myself and others, will, by embracing new
pioneering new technologies, enhance our ability to prevent terrorists
from ever setting foot in this country. As a proud cosponsor of this
legislation, I will help see to it that it is passed into law.
The key to the legislation is its commitment to the use of biometric
technology. Biometrics, the science of using physical characteristics
to identify an individual, has long held promise in the areas of law
enforcement and immigration. While individuals may be able to disguise
their appearance sufficiently to fool the human eye, the technology
we will hear described today can thwart the most sophisticated criminal
One use for these technologies is in the immigration area, where by
using biometric identifiers, we can conclusively confirm the identity
of those seeking entry into the United States. Impersonation would be
dramatically curtailed, if not eliminated altogether. And in conjunction
with law enforcement and intelligence databases, these technologies
will enable us to identify potential terrorists before they are among
# # # #