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Thread: Outmoded U.S. immigration system poses security risk: study

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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Outmoded U.S. immigration system poses security risk: study

    Outmoded U.S. immigration system poses security risk: study

    By Patricia Zengerle
    March 15, 2016

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. immigration authorities' lack of progress in automating their systems is compromising border security, making it more difficult to process people seeking to get into the country, a report said on Tuesday.

    "We may be admitting individuals who wish to do us harm, or who do not meet the requirements for a visa," John Roth, the Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security, told a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing.

    The report from Roth's office, released on Tuesday, said immigration officials expect it will take $1 billion and another three years, 11 years into the effort, to move from a paper-based system to automated benefit processing.

    U.S. lawmakers have been calling for a tighter visa system since the November Paris attacks and December San Bernardino shootings. In Paris, some of the militants were Europeans radicalized after visiting Syria, and a California attacker had been admitted on a fiance visa.

    They want to ensure that potential militants cannot enter the United States under programs, such as the "visa waiver" granted citizens of most western countries.

    Roth told the Senate Homeland Security Committee that workers processing millions of applications for immigrant benefits work with a system "more suited to an office environment from 1950 rather than 2016."

    He said some green cards and other immigration documents had been mailed to wrong addresses, or printed with incorrect names, which meant they could have fallen into the wrong hands.

    The poor quality of electronic data that is kept makes it more difficult to engage in data matching, to root out fraud and identify security risks, Roth said.

    Shipping, storing and handling over 20 million immigrant files costs more than $300 million a year, he added.

    The report also said the EB-5 visa program, which admits investors who spend $500,000 or $1 million in the United States, depending on the area, may not be subject to close enough scrutiny to ensure Americans' safety.

    The current system also allows "known human traffickers" to use work and fiance visas to bring victims into the country, the report said.

    Republican Senator Ron Johnson, the committee's chairman, said the modernization was too slow and expensive. "It should not take years and years and billions and billions of dollars," he said.

  2. #2
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    Dec 2015
    Our president has pledged to help Germany's Angela Merkel with their super-sized refugee problem pledging x amount of dollars a few months ago. Why is BO allowed to allocate money to other countries immigrant problems when he has absolutely and unequivocally failed to help his own country with immigration problems such as the one laid out in this article with respect to technological investments that this country requires desperately to maintain its own control over basic immigration functions? Hopefully this country will select the correct president to address these problems and replace all the lame members of Congress that have turned their backs on this countries security issues with respect to illegal immigration and visa overstays.
    Newmexican, pkskyali and Judy like this.

  3. #3
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Mind-boggling incompetence at DHS sends permanent residency green cards to people who

    You just can't make this stuff up.

    March 17, 2016
    By Thomas Lifson

    The Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General John Roth has issued a report that, in any private sector company, would have people fired, but in government will probably only see budgets increased. You see, the people in charge of keeping out terrorists who have proclaimed their intention to infiltrate us and destroy us with weapons of mass destruction have been sending permanent residency cards out to the wrong addresses. Even to people who have filed change-of-address forms. And the inauguration of a new computer system to handle the process in 2012 made the problem worse.

    Joe Davidson of the Washington Post’s Federal Insider column, is appropriately outraged:

    ...when the government sends cards to the wrong address, it’s a big problem for those who should have them but don’t and for government officials who wince at the thought of the cards in the wrong hands.

    Now comes word that since U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) installed its Electronic Immigration System (ELIS) in 2012, the number of cards going to the wrong places has only increased.

    By how much, no one seems to know.

    In this age of terror, this can be more serious than an employee working without proper papers

    And officials are not exactly on top of the problem:

    …officials acknowledge there is “no accurate means of identifying the exact number of potentially hundreds of cards sent to incorrect addresses for cases processed in ELIS.”

    As seems to be the case repeatedly in government lately, the blame goes to the computer systems, as if they are beyond the control of chief information officers. But that’s apparently the case at CIS.

    The report says the cards were sent erroneously “due to a system limitation” that prevented humans from changing the addresses. Even when green-card holders requested a change of address, employees could not update the system

    In other words, the computer system was mal-designed in the first place. Which seems to be the rule for government data processing projects. And of course, as computerization takes over more and more aspects of work, the incompetence level of government activity is on the rise. While the rest of the economy increases in efficiency with the IT revolution, the government is headed in the opposite direction – even as government increases in size relative to the rest of the economy.

    Davidson asked for comment from the DHS, and the response from the CIS director is either hilarious of infuriating, depending on how you seriously you regard matters of protecting us from terrorists:

    [CIS Director León] Rodríguez was critical of the report, however, saying it “does not fully recognize the extent of USCIS’ efforts to implement new technology and the extraordinary impact that these changes have had on the effectiveness of the system.” Several of the findings “do not reflect the drastically improved approaches put into place as we rebuilt our Electronic Immigration System,” he said, adding that the report did not “fully acknowledge” improvements made after an inspector general’s audit period, which ended in July.

    Roth’s office sought comment on the report from CIS management before publication. The document said Rodríguez “did not understand our ‘report’s assertion that national security was impacted based on address changes by applicants.’ ”

    Roth’s office did not understand that misunderstanding.

    “It is intuitive,” the report said, “that sending official USCIS credentials to unauthorized individuals poses potential national security risks.”

    Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit likes to sarcastically comment, “The country’s in the best of hands” when featuring government incompetence.

    If only…
    Judy likes this.
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