Population-scale systems that are going to somehow bridge the gap between database virtual identities and individual’s real identities are not simple, and no-one would pretend otherwise. But it’s not just the biometric subsystems that cause the problem: it’s the overall system that is often the problem and deploying biometrics will not help at all. Even in the case of US-VISIT, many aspects of the system would be failing even if there were no biometrics involved at all. Look at what is going at land Points-of-Entry, or POEs. US-VISIT has been installed at 154 of the 170 land POEs. While DHS officials are claiming that US-VISIT has improved their ability to verify identities (and I’m sure that’s true), they also recognise that as US-VISIT is extended and enhanced to aid border security, installation could increase processing times and "adversely affect operations" at land POEs where space constraints, traffic congestion, and processing delays already exist. And as far as I can see, if a terrorist wants to sneak into America from Canada, then they will simply walk over the border round the corner, not go through a border crossing anyway.
My opinions are my own (I think) and are presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public.
[posted with ecto]