Report: U.S. Visit needs database integration to succeed

The Homeland Security Department is hampered in its efforts to verify the identities of visitors at U.S. borders by the need to check with multiple database systems, the department's Inspector General Richard Skinner said in a new report.

"The time-consuming process that the Customs and Border Protection officers must use to query multiple database systems to verify travelers' identities and identify potential criminals and terrorists is particularly problematic at land points of entry, because of the limited time available to conduct the queries," the report said.

Multiple databases need to be integrated so Customs and Border Protection officers at land points of entry validate the identity of visitors trying to enter the United States, the inspector general's report said.

The department's biometric identity verification program, the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (U.S. Visit), begun Dec. 31, 2004, initially will enroll about 2.7 percent of the foreign visitors entering the United States at land points of entry, the report said.

Noting that U.S. Visit is "evolving rapidly," the report said it would issue no recommendations to enhance the program's implementation, because such advice would be "short-lived or premature."

However, the inspector general highlighted several areas that "could inhibit the program's effectiveness if not addressed."

In addition to the need for integration of databases, Skinner expressed concern about the small percentage of visitors to be enrolled in U.S. Visit and the large number of exempt visitors. The report advises that visitors from Visa Waiver Program countries remain enrolled in U.S. Visit until the technologies for verifying their passports are integrated.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here
close

Trending

  • Dive into our Contract Award database

    In an exclusive for WT Insider members, we are collecting all of the contract awards we cover into a database that you can sort by contractor, agency, value and other parameters. You can also download it into a spreadsheet. Our databases track awards back to 2013. Read More

  • Navigating the trends and issues of 2016 Nick Wakeman

    In our latest WT Insider Report, we pull together our best advice, insights and reporting on the trends and issues that will shape the market in 2016 and beyond. Read More

contracts DB

Washington Technology Daily

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.