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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 Identities, and 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!