A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Y`all Come Back Now, Ye Hear!

I found this in me e-mail box this morning.

US-VISIT: Only for Show?
Border-Screening System Hamstrung by Limited Use

WASHINGTON (August 2005) -- A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies finds that the US-VISIT border-screening program is being seriously undermined by policy decisions that limit its effectiveness. US-VISIT has proven its potential, according to the report, but the Bush Administration has exempted so many foreign visitors from being screened, and made so little use of the system’s exit-recording capabilities, that it could well turn into little more than a high-tech Potemkin Village.

What’s more, the current limited deployment of US-VISIT cannot guarantee a secure guestworker program. Until all visitors are subject to screening and enforcement and the systems are in place to deter fraud and abuse of all temporary programs, lawmakers must refrain from inviting still more visitors.

The report, entitled ''Modernizing America’s Welcome Mat: The Implementation of US-VISIT,'' was prepared by Jessica Vaughan, a Senior Policy Analyst at the Center, using both published information and interviews with officials. It is on line at .

Among the specific findings:

* Most Mexicans and Canadians, by far the two largest groups of visitors, are exempt from enrollment in either the entry or the exit components. Currently, only about 22 percent of all visitors are screened by US-VISIT.

* Fraud and abuse of Border Crossing Cards (BCCs) issued to Mexicans is rampant, but could be curbed if this group of visitors were enrolled in US-VISIT. Imposters now can use the cards with little risk of detection. In addition, a significant number of Mexicans illegally use the cards to commute to jobs in the United States.

* The exemption of Canadian visitors from US-VISIT at land crossings is another major weakness. The US-VISIT controls now in place at airports intercepted eight Canadian terrorism suspects who would not have been caught if they had used a land port of entry.

* Although visa overstays represent perhaps as many as 40 percent of all illegal aliens, DHS apparently is planning to implement only a very limited entry-exit-recording program. So far, DHS is using the exit-recording feature of US-VISIT primarily for workload reduction rather than for proactive immigration law enforcement.

* US-VISIT cannot by itself bring order to our immigration system. If the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is serious about curbing illegal immigration, the agency will have to move beyond its current enforcement strategy of triage, targeting only the most newsworthy offenders, and embrace a complementary strategy of ''broken windows''-style enforcement of all immigration violations that encourages voluntary compliance with the law.

For more information, contact Ms. Vaughan at (508) 346-3380 or



Blogger Always On Watch said...

"[V]isa overstays represent perhaps as many as 40 percent of all illegal aliens"? Didn't some of the 9/11 hijackers fall into this category? Didn't the Lodi-mosque fellows also fall into this same category? Some of DHS's and INS's arrests have focused ont eh visa-overstay matter, but we definitely need more enforcement along those lines.

Immigration is going to be one hot-button issue in the next elections. It's already an issue here in the upcoming gubernatorial race. I plan to blog on that topic next week.

6:13 AM  

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