"Fingerprint records reveal 825,000 immigrants with multiple names, inconsistent birth dates"

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Hi Gang:
Here is another of my commentaries that is based on an article I wrote for the Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) website.  This time the predication for my CAPS commentary was a Nextgov Magazine news report posted on August 23, 2012 that was, itself, based on an alarming GAO document that was prepared after the GAO conducted an investigation into a major security vulnerability concerning the immigration system. 
The GAO has posted both a summary as well as the full version of the redacted report of its findings- here are the two links to both documents: 
For those not familiar with NextGov Magazine, it is a well regarded publication that is widely read by leaders in Washington and elsewhere and addresses important issues concerning the operation of the federal government.
Just about everyone is familiar with the concept behind the use of fingerprints.  Fingerprints are supposed to uniquely identify individuals to thwart efforts by criminals, terrorists and other malevolent individuals to conceal their true identities and backgrounds.  Fingerprinting has been in use for many decades and represents the first use of “biometrics.”  Today other more sophisticated biometrics are being successfully used but for law enforcement agencies in the United States and in many other countries around the world, the use of fingerprints serves as the most likely means of properly identifying individuals.
In this perilous era the effective use of fingerprints has never been more important.  It is therefor extremely disturbing that the GAO has discovered that more than 800,000 individuals whose fingerprints are on file with the DHS in conjunction with US-VISIT, a program that was deemed essential by the 9/11 Commission, may not accurately reflect who these individuals are!
Now it turns out that it is possible that even if fingerprints show up we may still not know who they truly are!
What is also beyond belief is that the GAO report failed to delve into aliens who enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program!  Today aliens from some 36 countries are able to enter the United States without first applying for an obtaining a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate, thereby eliminating what could be an important layer of security.
While it may turn out that many of these discrepancies may simply be the result of a woman getting married and changing her name, there may also be instances of aliens who have sought to conceal their backgrounds as criminals or terrorists!
Advocates for various immigration amnesty programs are quick to claim that by bringing the heretofore illegal aliens out of the “shadows” so that we will know who they are because they will undergo background checks.  This is an absurd claim but one that often goes unchallenged.  A background check simply requires that an individual’s name and fingerprints are run through computer databases and if no matches are found for either that person’s name or fingerprints indicating a criminal record or link to terrorism, then they are considered to have cleared their background check.  This usually takes several minutes and is a dangerous way for the government to conduct business.
An alien whose name may well be on terrorist watch lists but who lies about his (her) name and has never been fingerprinted in the United States or a number of other countries will easily defeat the system.  
This is one of the reasons I have steadfastly opposed massive amnesty programs and the current claimed use of “Prosecutorial Discretion” by the Obama Administration to potentially provide millions of illegal aliens with identity documents that can be used as “breeder documents” to acquire driver’s licenses, Social Security Cards, library cards, credit cards and other high-value identity documents that create an aura of legitimacy for these individuals even though the names on these documents may not really relate to the aliens who could easily game the system and secure those authentic documents in false names.
This is why background investigations must be conducted as many instances as possible.  The difference between a background check and a background investigation is the equivalent of a nurse checking a patient’s temperature and blood pressure to determine the health of the patient and a doctor performing a full physical exam.
On July 12, 2011 CAPS posted my commentary about the ways that America’s national security suffers because of the Visa Waiver Program.  The title of my commentary was:
Here is an excerpt from that commentary:

Richard Reid, the so-called shoe bomber attempted to destroy a U.S. bound airliner that was packed with passengers and crew members by detonating explosives he had hidden in his shoes, is a citizen of Great Britain and therefore was not required to obtain a visa before flying to the United States to apply for admission into our country.  Had there been no Visa Waiver Program and he been required to obtain a visa, it is likely he would never have secured the visa and would have not been permitted to board the airliner he intended to destroy.  Our government now requires citizens of the United States and all others who seek to board airliners to remove their shoes for inspection because of Mr. Reid–however, the vulnerability created by the Visa Waiver Program has not only been utterly ignored, but more countries have since been added to list of those countries whose citizens do not need to seek visas before traveling to the United States to apply for admission into our country even though other terrorists have also entered our country under the Visa Waiver Program.

Currently, 36 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program, as shown below:

Andorra Hungary New Zealand
Australia Iceland Norway
Austria Ireland Portugal
Belgium Italy San Marino
Brunei Japan Singapore
Czech Republic Latvia Slovakia
Denmark Liechtenstein Slovenia
Estonia Lithuania South Korea
Finland Luxembourg Spain
France Malta Sweden
Germany Monaco Switzerland
Greece the Netherlands United Kingdom

Title 8, United States Code section 212 is the section of law (the INA) that enumerates the various categories of aliens who, under the Immigration and Nationality Act, are supposed to be prevented from entering the United States and are supposed to be removed if they are found.

I have compiled a list of the six ways in which the visa process can be helpful to law enforcement and bolster our nation’s efforts to prevent the entry of aliens whose presence on our country may prove harmful to our nation and our citizens.  Under the Visa Waiver Program, not one of these important benefits applies:

  1. By requiring visas of aliens who seek to enter the United States, this process helps to screen potential passengers on airliners that are destined to the United States.
  2. The CBP inspectors are supposed to make a decision in one minute or less as to the admissibility of an alien seeking to enter the United States.  The visa requirement helps them to do a more effective job. There’s is a tough job I can certainly relate to, I began my career at the former INS as an immigration inspector at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and worked there for four years before I became a special agent.
  3. The application for a nonimmigrant visa contains roughly 40 questions that could provide invaluable information to law enforcement officials should that alien become the target of a criminal or terrorist investigation.  The information could provide intelligence as well as investigative leads.  You can check out the application for a nonimmigrant (tourist) visa by clicking on this link:
  4. If an alien applicant lies on the application for a visa that lie is called “visa fraud.”  The maximum penalty for visa fraud starts out at 10 years in jail for those who commit this crime simply in order to come to the United States, ostensibly to seek unlawful employment or other such purpose.  The penalty increases to 15 years in jail for those aliens who obtain a visa to commit a felony.  For aliens who engage in visa fraud to traffic in narcotics or commit another narcotics-related crime, the maximum jail sentence that can be imposes rises to 20 years.  Finally, when an alien can be proven to have engaged in visa fraud in furtherance of terrorism, the maximum penalty climbs to 25 years in prison.  It is important to note that while it may be difficult to prove that an individual is a terrorist, it is usually relatively simple to prove that the alien has committed visa fraud when there is fraud involved in the visa application.  Indeed, terror suspects are often charged with visa fraud.
  5. The charge of visa fraud can also be extremely helpful to law enforcement authorities who want to take a bad guy off the street without tipping their hand to the other members of a criminal conspiracy or terrorism conspiracy that the individual arrested was being arrested for his involvement in terrorism or a criminal organization.  You can arrest the alien who commits visa fraud for that violation of law and not for other charges that might make it clear that the investigation underway is targeting a criminal or terrorist organization.
  6. Even when an alien applies for a visa and his application is denied, the application he filed remains available for law enforcement and intelligence personnel to review to seek to glean intelligence from that application.
I am even more concerned about where our nation is headed as the cartels succeed in sending more of their thugs to the United States to expand the scope of their operations, ramping up the violence in a growing list of cities.  The same concerns certainly apply to the potential for terrorist organizations to similarly expand their numbers in the United States to either carry out terrorist attacks inside the United States or, at the very least, to commit crimes in the United States to fund acts of terrorism around the world!
It is because of a long and growing list of screw-ups, of which this is only the most recent in a long list of such examples of incompetence and malfeasance, that have caused me to come to refer to the DHS as being the Department of Homeland Surrender!
If a chain is as strong as its weakest link, where the immigration system is concerned we have extremely weak and all but missing links!
Immigration is not a single issue but a singular issue that impacts nearly every challenge and threat confronting the United States today!

If our government’s failures to protect American jobs by securing our nation’s borders and effectively enforcing our immigration laws concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! 

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

-michael cutler- 

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Fingerprint records reveal 825,000 immigrants with multiple names, inconsistent birth dates

An article that appeared on the Nextgov Magazine website on August 23, 2012 began:

The Homeland Security Department maintains fingerprints of every foreigner who enters the country to help prevent fraud, but 825,000 of those records appear to be associated with multiple individuals, according to internal investigators. The sheer number of discrepancies raises questions about how many immigrants intentionally are faking their identities to evade authorities versus falling victim to poor typing.

The report this article refers to was released earlier this month and bore the understated title, US-VISIT Faces Challenges in Identifying and Reporting Multiple Biographic Identitiesand equally understated subtitles including:

“US-VISIT Needs to Improve Procedures That Specifically Target Individuals Using Multiple Biographic Identities to Enter the United States”

“Data Inconsistencies Hinder Effective Use of Biometrics to Identify and Prevent Use of Fraudulent Identities at U.S. Ports of Entry

“US-VISIT Data Contain Hundreds of Thousands of Records with Inconsistent Biographic Information”

What is disturbing is the potential nexus between those aliens who sought to enter the United States under assumed identities and national security.  The terrorists who attacked our nation in 1993 and on September 11, 2012 all committed visa fraud and/or immigration benefit fraud.

The Nextgov article continues:

In a written response to a draft report, Rand Beers, undersecretary of DHS’ National Protection and Programs Directorate, which oversees US-VISIT, said the program has “initiated a proactive review” of ID data to spot fraud and alert the proper authorities. As of May 8, US-VISIT had researched 1,200 official alien registration numbers filed for immigrants trying to enter or obtain benefits, and added 192 of those individuals’ prints to a watch list of known or suspected criminals.

“Subjects suspected of fraud may be or have already attempted to commit passport fraud, U.S. citizen-lawful permanent resident fraud and fraud involving possible alien smuggling,” Beers wrote in the letter.

Deffer, however, said this review stops short of examining possible fraud committed by travelers such as visitors from visa waiver countries who do not have alien registration numbers, or do not need visas for entry.

According to these facts, the Visa Waiver Program, at present, enables aliens from some 36 countries to seek to enter the United States without first applying for and obtaining a visa, thus removing an important layer of security in the name of “trade and commerce.”  It would now appear that in addition to removing a vital layer of security, the Visa Waiver Program may also conceal fraud that has serious national security implications!

Aliens who seek to enter the United States are required to present themselves for inspection at an authorized port of entry is to enable the inspectors of the CBP (Customs and Border Protection) to prevent the entry of aliens into the United States who would pose a serious problem.  The data contained in the various databases utilized by the  inspectors is supposed to prevent the entry of aliens who, under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) are excludible from the United States.

According to immigration law Title 8, United States Code, Section 1182, the following categories of aliens are statutorily ineligible to enter the United States:

  • Aliens with dangerous communicable diseases,
  • Aliens who suffer serious mental illness and are prone to violence,
  • Aliens who are convicted felons, aliens who fugitives from justice in other countries,
  • Aliens who are human traffickers and drug smugglers, aliens who are war criminals,
  • Aliens who have committed human rights violations and aliens who are engaged in terrorism and espionage, and
  • Aliens who have been previously deported from the United States and fail to secure the appropriate authorization to re-enter the United States are barred from re-entering the United States.

If the databases are unable to provide accurate information to enable inspectors to weed out impostors who seek to circumvent the laws and databases, then it is entirely possible that criminals and terrorists may be able to gain entry through the lawful process.

What may not be quite so obvious is that aliens who commit identity and visa frauds pose at least as serious a threat and, perhaps an even greater threat, because they have found a way to develop a level of credibility to which they are not entitled when they succeed in gaming the lawful entry process.

Finally, it is possible that if aliens can assume false identities to enter the United States they may well be able to acquire lawful immigrant status and even United States citizenship by using false identities enabling them to conceal criminal histories or terrorist affiliations.  This is yet another reason to oppose the President’s program to provide millions of illegal alien “DREAMers” with employment authorization.  It may not only ultimately cost Americans their jobs, but their lives!

The only thing worse than no security is false security!