Border and Visa Security: A Major Deficiency


By: Jim Kouri, CPP

In deciding to approve or deny a visa application, the Department of State’s consular officers are on the front line of defense in protecting the United States against those who seek to harm US interests.

To increase border security following the September 11 attacks, Congress, the State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security initiated a series of changes to border security policies and procedures.

These changes have added to the complexity of consular workload. But consular officers must balance this security responsibility against the need to facilitate legitimate travel.

As a result of changes since September 11, 2001, aimed at strengthening visa policies and procedures, applicants have faced extensive wait times for visas at some posts. According to consular officials, posts that consistently have wait times of 30 days or longer for interview appointments may have a resource problem.

During a recent 6-month period, 97 of the State Department’s 211 visa-issuing posts reported maximum wait times of 30 or more days in at least one month; at 20 posts, the reported wait times were in excess of 30 days for this entire 6-month period.

Further, in February 2006, 9 posts reported wait times in excess of 90 days. Several factors have contributed to these delays at some consular posts.

For example, Congress, the State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security have initiated new policies and procedures to strengthen the security of the visa process; however, these new requirements have increased consular workload and exacerbated delays.

In addition, some applicants have faced additional delays because of special security checks for national security concerns. Other factors, such as resurgence in visa demand and ongoing embassy facility limitations, could continue to affect wait times.

Consular officers recently reported that the State Department had not conducted a worldwide, comprehensive assessment of staffing requirements for visa operations.

While the State Department has increased hiring of consular officers, there is a need for such an assessment to ensure that State has sufficient staff at key consular posts, particularly in light of the visa processing delays at some posts.



Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for TheConservativeVoice.Com. He’s also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.us

About The Author Jim Kouri, CPP:
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc. To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.
Website:http://jimkouri.us

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.