Monday, July 13, 2009
The first time I had my finger prints taken was in Venezuela when I applied for my first national identity card. I remember doing so begrudgingly because in my mind only criminals were finger printed.
It's a messy job. They role a thick, black, tar like ink across your fingers and sometimes, even your whole palm for a complete hand print. They will next roll each finger tip, one direction, onto cards which have boxes labeled as to which finger print is being recorded. After this is done, in most places, you are expected to be able to miraculously clean this gunk from your hands without staining anyone or anything.
My husband had previously been finger printed by the Marine Corps for a security clearance and he only laughed at my disdain in having to have my finger prints taken.
After that first experience with finger printing, I became quite used to the process. By now I have been finger printed more times than I can recall. I must have my prints all over the place. I am just glad that I have never been required to give my foot print or ear print like some European countries require! People speak of the US draconian immigration laws, they ought to see what it is like to immigrate other places!
The Venezuelan government has my prints on file (paper) and also digitally as I had to have them scanned the last few times they took them. The FBI has them. Interpol has them. The Paraguayan National Police has them.
I am now an expert on the process! I make sure to take my own liquid soap and wash clothes for the clean up and am never surprised when asked to be finger printed.
In Venezuela finger printing was required for just about any thing, it seemed! Even voting.
What about you? Have you ever been finger printed?