10:53 AM, May 21, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
Today, the Government Accountability Office issued a report of preliminary finding on the progress the Department of Homeland Security has made in its efforts to reduce the backlog of immigrant visas. Although almost 863,000 records were "closed" in the last two years, the backlog of potential overstays remains at more than one million [emphasis added]:
In the summer of 2011, DHS reviewed the 1.6 million potential overstay records. As a result, DHS closed about 863,000 records and removed them from the backlog. Since that time, DHS has continued to review all potential overstay records for national security and public safety concerns. However, as of April 2013, DHS continues to maintain more than 1 million unmatched arrival records in ADIS. GAO's preliminary analysis identified nonimmigrants traveling to the United States on a tourist visa constitute 44 percent of unmatched arrival records, while tourists admitted under a visa waiver constitute 43 percent. The remaining records include various types of other nonimmigrants, such as those traveling on temporary worker visas.
The report does note a change implemented since the Boston bombing related specifically to student visas:
Beginning in April 2013, ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) began automatically sending data to ADIS on a daily basis, allowing ADIS to review SEVIS records against departure records and determine whether student visa holders who have ended their course of study departed in accordance with the terms of their stay. Prior to this date, DHS manually transferred data from SEVIS to ADIS on a weekly basis. According to DHS officials, these exchanges were unreliable because they did not consistently include all SEVIS data—particularly data on “no show” students who failed to begin their approved course of study within 30 days of being admitted into the United States.
DHS has yet to comply with federal law requiring reporting of visa overstays, but the GAO notes that Janet Napolitano has said that DHS intends to begin such reporting by the end of the year:
Federal law requires DHS to report overstay estimates, but DHS or its predecessors have not regularly done so since 1994. In September 2008, GAO reported on limitations in overstay data that affect the reliability of overstay rates. In April 2011, GAO reported that DHS officials said that they have not reported overstay rates because DHS has not had sufficient confidence in the quality of its overstay data and that, as a result, DHS could not reliably report overstay rates. In February 2013, the Secretary of Homeland Security testified that DHS plans to report overstay rates by December 2013.
4:19 PM, May 6, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano praised her employees today in a statement to the press.
Shake-up.10:50 AM, Mar 2, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
In a late Friday afternoon email, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano notified staff that her chief of staff was leaving.
FOIA staff of 400; costs over $38 million.3:32 PM, Feb 5, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
According to an annual report for 2012 just released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), DHS processed a total of 205,895 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests during the year. The report, presented by Acting Chief Freedom of Information Act Officer Jonathan R. Cantor, shows that DHS reduced the backlog of such requests by 30 percent during the year. However, a deeper look at the numbers reveals that the agency only fully granted just over 10 percent of FOIA requests that were processed.
8:49 AM, Feb 4, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will travel to California and Texas today and tomorrow "to inspect border security," the federal agency announced today.
"Change wet clothing frequently..."1:59 PM, Jan 23, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Earlier today, the Department of Homeland Security took to its Twitter account to offer "tips" on how to deal with the winter weather:
1:32 PM, Oct 24, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the "Diversity in Cyber Security Conference" tomorrow in Washington, D.C., a press release from the organization hosting the event announced in a press release. The group Women in International Security is hosting the event.
3:13 PM, Jun 25, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano celebrated the Supreme Court's Arizona decision in a statement. But Napolitano expressed concern in a statement that a key component of the law, which allows law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of folks who are stopped, saying that it "will make DHS' work more challenging."
10:15 AM, Jun 2, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Department of Homeland Security's latest concern is hurricanes. With the start of the hurricane season, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is encouraging a so-called "Whole Community Approach."
The Mosab Hassan Yousef case doesn't make the bureaucrats look competent. 5:55 PM, Jun 24, 2010 • By RICHARD STARR
The idiocy of the Department of Homeland Security--described in Daniel Halper's item below about Mosab Hassan Yousef--recalls an old joke. Yousef is a defector from Hamas, spiritually (he converted to Christianity) and politically (he turned anti-Hamas and informed on his old comrades to Israeli security). So DHS bureaucrats have decided he doesn't deserve asylum because his memoir proves that he has ties to Hamas.
DHS stands in opposition.5:35 PM, Jun 24, 2010 • By DANIEL HALPER
Rep. Doug Lamborn is leading an effort in the House of Representatives to gather support for Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a founder of Hamas who converted to Christianity, became an anti-Hamas informer, and is now living in the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security, incredibly, is opposing his application for political asylum.
Confidence, continued.9:58 AM, Jan 8, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
Neither the determination of al Qaeda, nor the tactic used in this incident seem particularly shocking or new. Perhaps this kind of thing has something to do with a news search for "Napolitano" today bringing up three calls for her resignation.
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