Fragmented, disorganized IT systems thwart feds ability to track visas


The technology issues involved in supporting about 27 distinct DHS information systems and databases hinder the effort by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to track people who overstay their visas.

That was the chief conclusion of a scathing Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) report on the status of ICE’s ability to track visa overstays.

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According to the OIG, Visa holders are required to leave the United States on or before the designated admit until date, which ranges in time depending on the specific visa classification. When a nonimmigrant visitor is admitted to the country under a specific nonimmigrant category but exceeds the authorized period of admission, the visitor becomes an “overstay.” DHS identifies individuals as overstays primarily by electronically matching records of visitor entry to and exit from the United States in the Arrival and Departure Information System.

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