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U.S. Advises Egyptian Visitors

September 29, 2002

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CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ The United States on Sunday began advising Egyptians traveling to America they may be fingerprinted, photographed and questioned on their U.S. arrival for reasons of national security.

So far, the program requiring registration of foreign visitors included those from Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Libya _ the countries listed by the State Department as state sponsors of terrorism.

According to an Immigration and Naturalization Service memo obtained by The Associated Press earlier this week, the program was expanded to include men ages 16 to 45 from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Yemen, starting Oct. 1.

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo said in a press release ``the new system will require the digital fingerprinting and photographing of selected (Egyptian) travelers upon arrival in the United States, as well as responses to questions posed by immigration officials.″

According to the INS Sept. 5 memo, registration is required on arrival to and departure from the United States. The foreigners also must be interviewed at an INS office for stays of more than 30 days and notify the INS within 10 days of any change of residence, employment or academic institution.

The memo says immigration inspectors also can register visitors for national security reasons. The memo says inspectors should consider whether the visitor has made an unexplained trip to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Yemen, Egypt, Somalia, Pakistan, Indonesia or Malaysia or the visitor’s explanation for the trip lacks credibility.

Among other things, inspectors will be told to consider registering foreign visitors who previously overstayed a U.S. visa or whose behavior, demeanor or answers indicate that the person may be a security threat, the memo says.

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