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RDU To Welcome Foreign Visitors With Photos, Fingerprints

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MORRISVILLE, N.C. — Raleigh-Durham International Airport

will be among 115 international airports around the country implementing new security measures Monday.

Foreign travelers coming to the United States will be photographed and fingerprinted as part of a new program designed to tighten border security.

The new rules are supposed to verify a visitor's identity and compliance with U.S. visa and immigration policies. There are 28 countries exempt from the rule, mostly in Europe.

The effort is part of a new Homeland Security program which will check an estimated 24 million foreign travelers each year.

"I said shortly after Sept. 11 that we would return to normal, but normal would be different. I think that's what's occurring," said Bryan Beatty, North Carolina's Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety in Sept. 2003.

Beatty said the efforts of federal homeland security are in the best interest of the state.

"I think we're better prepared. I think we are safer in terms of the things we can anticipate," he said.

Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge will be at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to help launch the program.

In response to the security measure, Brazil is mandating that American tourists be photographed and fingerprinted.

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