The DHS wants airlines to foot the bill for fingerprinting foreigners as they leave the US; this is part of the failed US VISIT program, which has spent
$15,000,000,000 without catching a single terrorist (the program has caught approximately 1,000 minor immigration cheats who'd overstayed their visas — a cost of $15,000,000 per cheat). See update below
The airlines are playing hardball in fighting the proposal — they don't want to assume all those costs.
The Homeland Security Department, which currently fingerprints foreigners coming into U.S. airports, wants airlines to be responsible for taking fingerprints as these travelers leave…
"Carriers are pulling out all the stops to kill" the proposal, said Stewart Verdery, a former Homeland Security assistant secretary for border and transportation policy. "My guess is they're going to be successful."
Robert Mocny, who heads the fingerprint program, said fingerprinting foreigners as they leave is essential. The information helps track those whose visas have expired and allows monitoring of people whose movements in and out of the USA suggest terrorist plotting. "It's a better way of monitoring the movement of individuals we have an interest in without them hiding behind a fake name," he said.
Updates to Schneier's post show that the cost is in the hundreds of millions, not billions, and that in addition to visa cheats, some petty criminals were also caught.