Photo: Courtesy of Suzanne Brumett

The US government wants to crack down on immigration by checking up on the activities and whereabouts of foreign students, workers, and visitors. Shortly, the Department of Justice will implement plans to register and fingerprint certain foreign nationals.

This move comes on the heels of other restrictive proposals. The government is also scrutinizing and tracking foreign graduate and postdoctorate students, requiring them to apply for student visas from their home countries or to tell an immigration officer of their plans to apply for student visas when they enter as visitors. The most recently proposed changes to the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program affecting visiting professors and research scholars will limit program extensions beyond five years and limit repeated participation in the program.

To some, such close monitoring of individuals' movements represents actions one would expect from a police state. But the US government insists that the...

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