By Debbie Schlussel

Part of the reason that the federal government made a big deal (and spent a whole lot of money–much of wasted on dud machines and programs) on getting alien fingerprints when they enter the country (and when they leave, if ever) is that aliens–including terrorists–often give fake names and fake IDs. Without fingerprints, there is no way to ever keep any record of who they are and whether an alien who has already been deported or committed violent crimes is trying to re-enter.

But now, in case aliens and terrorists didn’t know, the Department of Homeland Security and USA Today–getting info from the Annals of Oncology (yes, a cancer magazine)–are providing instructions on how to obscure or get rid of fingerprints. Oh, and by the way, here’s yet another reason to profile Arabs and Muslims–you know, the work that Americans just won’t do.

Before they can enter the USA, virtually all non-U.S. citizens 14 to 79 have their fingerprints screened at the airport or seaport to confirm their identity and make sure they’re not a security threat.

Stop right there. Why are we NOT fingerprinting kids under 14? Ever see the age of several of the Muslim homicide bombers in Gaza? Often they are just kids. I guess we’re saying, as long as you get into America before 14, you’re in and we can’t trace you.

But what if you don’t have fingerprints?

That was the dilemma faced by a Singapore cancer patient whose chemotherapy drug caused severe peeling of the skin on his hands and feet, which erased his fingerprints. His oncologist describes the case in a letter published online today by the Annals of Oncology.

The 62-year-old man was taking capecitabine, sold in the USA as Xeloda, for head and neck cancer that had spread to his bones, chest and abdomen (in the USA, Xeloda is approved for the treatment of breast and colorectal cancer that has spread). He developed hand-foot syndrome, a drug side effect that causes the skin on the hands and feet to peel.

After taking capecitabine for more than three years, the man, who wasn’t identified by doctors, flew to the USA to visit relatives. He was detained at the U.S. airport by Customs and Border Protection officers for four hours because they couldn’t detect his fingerprints, his doctors, from the National Cancer Centre Singapore, write.

Finally, the officers were satisfied that he wasn’t a security threat and allowed him to enter the country. They told him to travel with a letter from his oncologist explaining his lack of fingerprints.

Two years ago, Spanish cancer doctors reported a similar story about a 39-year-old flight attendant detained for several hours at a U.S. airport until her doctor faxed an explanation that the capecitabine she’d been taking for breast cancer had erased her fingerprints.

Many other drugs can cause hand-foot syndrome, but there is little information about whether they lead to fingerprint loss, Su-Pin Choo, one of the co-authors of the new letter, said in an e-mail.

“Hand-foot syndrome is more common with capecitabine than with most other drugs,” Choo wrote. Fingerprint loss probably is also related to how long a patient takes a drug that causes hand-foot syndrome, he said, and he added that patients receiving a continuous infusion of 5FU, a common cancer drug, also should consider carrying a letter attesting to that if they travel to the USA.

In the world, an estimated one in 50 people lack matchable fingerprints. “We have standard operating procedures that take that into account,” says the Department of Homeland Security’s Anna Hinken. She says Customs and Border Protection officers decide whether to admit such people on the basis of other physical and behavioral traits.

Wow, way to go, Homeland Security! Now, terrorists and illegal aliens know your methods and procedures on this issue and will take advantage to game the system some more. Because, hey, we don’t have enough of that already.

This is brainless. And it’s why we need to profile.
But for now, here’s what’s on the Al-Qaeda shopping list: loads of capecitabine a/k/a Xeloda. Oh, and as for the doctor’s notes, well, as I’ve already noted on this site, time and again, there are plenty of Muslim doctors who support Islamic terrorism, take part in it, and help illegal aliens into the U.S.

*** UPDATE: Hey, just in case terrorists and illegal aliens don’t have the proper back story on why they don’t have fingerprints, our awesome Department of Homeland Security gave USA Today some great excuses for aliens to tell Customs and Border Protection agents: