Senators amended the bipartisan immigration bill on Monday to require all non-U.S. citizens to be fingerprinted when leaving the U.S. through the country's 30 busiest airports.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved several changes to the bill during a markup session that's expected to stretch into the evening. The fingerprinting system, sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), is a gesture towards Republicans who favor stronger enforcement methods against unauthorized immigration. It passed on a bipartisan 13-5 vote.
The Hatch proposal would require the so-called "biometric" entry/exit system to be put into place at the 10 U.S. airports with the highest volume of international air travel within two years of the bill's passage. After six years, the system would be expanded to 30 airports, pending a study of the system's effectiveness.