A new report out of the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General's Office stated that a broken and ineffective set of electronic systems are hampering efforts by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to track people who have overstayed their visas.
Because information can't be shared between systems, ICE agents must piece together pieces of information individually. As a result, the queue of visa overstay cases has swelled to 1.2 million.
The Office of the Inspector General also lamented the lack of a biometric exit system that tracks the nonimmigrant visitors leaving the United States.
Instead, ICE relies on third-party departure data like the manifests from commercial carriers, which does not include information about travelers who cross the border on foot or in their vehicles.
“ICE must equip its personnel with the tools and training they require for the vital work of tracking visitors who overstay their visas,” said Inspector General John Roth.
“Timely identification, tracking, and adjudication of potential visa overstays is critical to ICE’s public safety and national security mission.”