Brazilian Migration officials began Thursday January first to photograph and fingerprint all arriving American visitors following instructions from a federal Judge who compared the Unites States new anti terrorist security policies, to which Brazilians and other countries' citizens are subject, as horrors of Nazi times.
Federal Judge Julier Sebastiao da Silva from the state of Matto Grosso furious with US plans to photograph and finger print millions of visitors entering US territory ordered the Brazilian authorities to adopt a similar procedure with US citizens entering Brazil.
The move is based on a court order by federal judge Sebastiao da Silva after a federal public prosecutor demanded the retaliatory measures. They are reported to have been imposed at several airports.
Besides, Brazil demands US citizens to have a visa to enter the country.
The new US-Visit system has the purpose of identifying people who have violated migration controls, have a criminal record or belong to groups which according to the US government are terrorist organizations.
This means that all visitors needing a visa to enter the US as of January 2004 will be photographed and finger printed when going through migration in the US main airports and ports. However the system does not apply to citizens from 27 countries, mainly Europeans who do not required a visa to enter the US.
"I consider this act totally brutal, a threat to human rights, a violation of human dignity, xenophobic and comparable to the worse horrors committed by the Nazis", sentenced Judge Sebastiao da Silva last Tuesday.
Brazil's retaliatory move against the US also highlights the country's increasingly strained relations with the US since Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the left-leaning president, took office a year ago.
While he established a good rapport with George W. Bush, the US president, Mr Lula da Silva has since upset Washington with controversial visits to rogue heads of state, including those of Cuba, Libya and Syria. He has also been an outspoken critic of the US-led war in Iraq, saying the US would do better to join his efforts to fight hunger globally
Tuesday Brazil's foreign ministry officially requested the US government to exclude Brazilian citizens from the list of countries subject to its new security measures.
A ministry spokesman said that Brazil was entirely entitled to adopt reciprocal measures
No US diplomat was available in Brasilia to comment on Brazilian reaction to the new US-Visit system.