Report: Problems Continue in IDing Foreign Nationals Entering US


By: Jim Kouri, CPP

The Department of Homeland Security established the US Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) program to collect, maintain, and share data on selected foreign nationals entering and exiting the United States at air, sea and land ports of entry.

These data, including biometric identifiers like digital fingerprints, are to be used to screen persons against watch lists, verify visitors’ identities, and record arrival and departure. US-VISIT entry capability has been installed at 154 of the 170 land POEs.

Officials at all 21 sites reported that US-VISIT had improved their ability to process visitors and verify identities. DHS plans to further enhance US-VISIT’s capabilities by, among other things, requiring new technology and equipment for scanning all 10 fingerprints. While this may 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.

The Government Accountability Office indicated that management controls in place to identify such problems and evaluate operations were insufficient and inconsistently administered. For example, GAO identified computer processing problems at 12 sites visited; at 9 of these, the problems were not always reported.

US-VISIT has developed performance measures, but measures to gauge factors that uniquely affect land POE operations were not developed; these would put US-VISIT officials in a better position to identify areas for improvement. US-VISIT officials concluded that, for various reasons, a biometric US-VISIT exit capability cannot now be implemented without incurring a major impact on land POE facilities.

An interim nonbiometric exit technology being tested does not meet the statutory requirement for a biometric exit capability and cannot ensure that visitors who enter the country are those who leave. DHS has not yet reported to Congress on a required plan describing how it intends to fully implement a biometric entry/exit program, or use nonbiometric solutions.

Until this plan is finalized, neither DHS nor Congress is in a good position to prioritize and allocate program resources or plan for POE facilities modifications. DHS has not yet articulated how US-VISIT is to align with other emerging land border security initiatives and mandates, and therefore cannot ensure that the program will meet strategic program goals and operate cost effectively at land POEs.

Knowing how US-VISIT is to work with these initiatives, such as one requiring US citizens, Canadians, and others to present passports or other documents at the border in 2009, is important for understanding the broader strategic context for US-VISIT and identifying resources, tools, and potential facility modifications needed to ensure success, according to GAO analysts.

Sources: Government Accountability Office, Department of Homeland Security



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 and PHXnews.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

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