Report could hurt immigration deal-Homeland Security loses track of 1 million foreign people-and are years overdue in setting up a system to track departures

Article subtitle: 
DHS lost track of 1.6 million people 2 years ago-1,901 of them were deemed a significant national security threat
Article author: 
Stephen Dinan
Article publisher: 
The Washington Times
Article date: 
30 July 2013
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 
The Homeland Security Department has lost track of more than 1 million people who it knows arrived in the U.S. but who it cannot prove left the country, according to an audit Tuesday that also found the department probably won't meet its own goals for deploying an entry-exit system.
The findings were revealed as Congress debates an immigration bill, and the Government Accountability Office's report could throw up another hurdle because lawmakers in the House and Senate have said that any final deal must include a workable system to track entries and exits and cut down on so-called visa overstays.
The government does track arrivals, but is years overdue in setting up a system to track departures — a goal set in a 1996 immigration law and reaffirmed in 2004, but which has eluded Republican and Democratic administrations.
"DHS has not yet fulfilled the 2004 statutory requirement to implement a biometric exit capability, but has planning efforts under way to report to Congress in time for the fiscal year 2016 budget cycle on the costs and benefits of such a capability at airports and seaports," GAO investigators wrote ...
The total of 1 million potential overstays in the country is an improvement from two years ago, when the GAO found Homeland Security had lost track of 1.6 million peopleHomeland Security went back and looked at those names and found that more than half had either actually left the country unbeknownst to the government, or had gained legal status that allowed them to remain in the U.S.
Of the others, the department decided most were deemed not to be security risks and so there was no need to track them down. But 1,901 of them were deemed significant national security or public safety threats, and 266 of those were still unaccounted for as of March ...

CAIRCO Research


June 23, 2013 11:37 pm
UK to trial £3,000 bond for ‘high-risk’ visa applicants

By Helen Warrell, Public Policy Correspondent

Visitors from six Asian and African countries including India, Pakistan and Nigeria are to be charged a £3,000 “bond” on arrival in the UK under a trial scheme to prevent visa overstayers, the Home Office has confirmed.

The pilot, due to begin this November, will only apply to those coming to Britain on six-month visitor visas – but ministers are said to be interested in extending the programme to all visa types and all countries over time. The bond will be repaid entirely to those who leave the country before their visa has expired... 

“In the long run we’re interested in a s ystemof bonds that deters overstaying and recovers costs if a foreign national has used our public services,” Ms May said ...