Microchip Implanted Migrants

NY Times

Comments attributed to Colombia’s president that microchip implants could be used to track Colombians working temporarily in the U.S. drew attention — and criticism — Thursday.

The alleged statement by President Alfaro Uribe dismayed some Colombians after it appeared in Colombian newspapers.

‘’It would be a blatant violation of human rights,'’ said Jorge Pinilla, 50, a lawyer in Bogota.

Details of Uribe’s conversation last month with U.S. lawmakers were revealed by Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania in a report he read into the congressional record last week.

Specter and Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama met with Uribe, the United States’ staunchest ally in Latin America, during their visit to Colombia on April 7-9.

During the informal meeting, Specter expressed concerns about seasonal workers who immigrate to the United States to work temporarily on farms and then don’t return to their country once their visa has elapsed.

‘’President Uribe said he would consider having Colombian workers have microchips implanted into their bodies before they are permitted to enter the United States to work on a seasonal basis,'’ said Specter in a speech entered to the Congressional record April 25. ‘’I doubted whether the implantation of microchips would be effective since the immigrant worker might be able to remove them.'’

The offices of Specter and Sessions did not return calls seeking comment on their meeting with Uribe.

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