A continuation of yesterday’s Washington Post story talks about the improvements in the immigration process and what some of the hold ups in the recent past have been. Currently, the immigration process which is pre-computer age document storage, costs the country upwards of $100 million dollars a year. Additionally, there is a multi-year back up of cases that have not been processed.
The government and outside contractors currently handle about 7 million applications per year.
If successful, the five-year, $500 million effort to convert U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ case-management system from paper-based to electronic could reduce backlogs and processing delays by at least 20 percent, and possibly more than 50 percent, people close to the project said. Those problems have long frustrated new Americans and other immigrants.
The new system would allow government agencies, from the Border Patrol to the FBI to the Labor Department, to access immigration records faster and more accurately. In combination with initiatives to link digital fingerprint scans to unique identification numbers, it would create a lifelong digital record for applicants. It also would eliminate the need for time- and labor-intensive filing and refiling of paper forms, which are stored at 200 locations in 70 million manila file folders.
Known internally as the transformation initiative, the long-awaited and much-delayed effort is considered a cornerstone of any broader effort to fix an immigration system considered one of the most broken bureaucracies in the federal government.
According to Prakash Khatri, a homeland security consultant at KPK Global Solutions
The case-management system,
“is going to transform the way USCIS and its predecessors have done business for the last 50 years, and the success or failure of this venture will determine the effectiveness
of any future immigration overhaul….”
Perhaps it took so long because of issues and flaws in other branches of Department of Homeland Security. Let’s hope this plan is successful. Many people have waited a long time to become legally part of the American Dream.
[The erroneous math statement has been removed]