Finally! And to those who have repeatedly said ‘our immigration laws are fine, just enforce them,’ I say, “Enforce this!’
The Washington Post reports on 11/6/08:
The Bush administration has launched a massive overhaul of the nation’s long-troubled immigration services agency, tapping an IBM-led industry consortium to re-invent the way government workers help immigrants obtain visas, seek citizenship and get approval to work in the United States.
Apparently things began to clog right after the formation of the Department of Homeland Security. Our immigration system became broken, despite the fact that over 22,000 workers were attacking the problem on antiquated systems and equipment in 250 locations.
The contract, awarded this week and the largest federal homeland security bid on the market, includes a $14.5 million, 90-day assessment period with options over five years worth $491.1 million, and a ceiling value of up to $3.5 billion if Congress approves a broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws that unleashes a flood of applications for legal status or other actions.
Many things have hampered updating this new system for USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services): funding, departmental infighting, the focus on ‘the wall,’ border crossing issues, increased security demands, inertia and unpassed bills.
The USCIS transformation effort is a long-awaited, much delayed undertaking that is years behind initial schedule yet considered a cornerstone of any broader effort to fix an immigration system all sides say is one of the most broken bureaucracies in the federal government.
The agency, which was spun off from the former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services and merged into the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, receives about 6 million to 8 million applications from immigrants a year, but relies on a pre-computer age, paper-based system of 70 million files identified by immigrants’ “A-numbers” or alien registration numbers.
Good for President Bush for making sure that our immigration system gets fixed. By the same token, why wasn’t fixing immigration prioritized years ago? Especially after 9/11, when security was at its pinnacle, why were workers tracking people manually. If we could put man on the moon in 1969 using computers, how come we can’t process immigration requests?
Just think of the problems that would have never happened if our existing immigration system was not broken.
click the Washington Post link above for the full story and thanks to TWINAD for sending this article.