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Amendment requires foreigners leaving Honolulu Airport to be fingerprinted

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:59 a.m. HST, May 22, 2013

Honolulu Airport will be among the airports required to fingerprint foreigners leaving the United States under an amended immigration reform bill, U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono’s office confirmed Tuesday.

Hirono (D, Hawaii), a member of the Judiciary Committee, voted in favor of an amendment, authored by Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah Monday, that would require foreigners leaving the country through any of the nation's 30 busiest airports to submit to fingerprinting, part of an attempt to strengthen security.

The nation's 10 busiest airports would have to establish a fingerprinting system within two years. Within six years it would have to be in place at the other airports.

Nathan Click, a Hirono spokesman, said it will be up to the Federal Aviation Administration to determine which airports will be affected when the plan takes effect.

However, Click said “Honolulu would likely be part of the group that establishes it in six years.”

The Hatch amendment passed 13 to 5 Monday as the Senate Judiciary Committee went into its third week of deliberations on a major immigration reform bill.

Lawmakers have cited the absence of a reliable system to track people entering and leaving the U.S. as a major security flaw.

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