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.
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.
1:09 PM, Jan 16, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Janet Napolitano, head of the Department of Homeland Security, released a statement Wednesday saying she is "proud to support" the Obama administration's efforts to "combat gun violence in our country." Here's more from Napolitano's statement:
2:48 PM, Dec 17, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
According to bestplacestowork.org, the worst large federal agency to work at is the Department of Homeland Security. The second worst large federal agency to work at is the Department of Veteran Affairs, while the Department of Labor is the third worst.
The TSA’s new uniforms.
Dec 10, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 13 • By KATE HAVARD
If you’re headed to the airport for the holidays, here are some tips to keep you off the Transportation Security Administration’s “naughty list”: Holiday puddings (even the figgy kind) are considered “gel-like” substances and must be carried in clear plastic containers of no more than 3.4 ounces.
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."
2:15 PM, Jul 27, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
At a House Homeland Security Committee hearing Wednesday morning on the domestic threat of al Shabaab, Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) warned that the Somali terrorist organization could carry out a terrorist attack in America and that it should not be underestimated.
9:43 AM, Mar 8, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
Steve Hayes, with Mara Liasson and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:
12:15 PM, Mar 7, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The Washington Post ran a cover story in Saturday's issue about New York Republican congressman Peter King, the chair of the House Homeland Security committee.
2:48 PM, Feb 9, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Despite concern from the left about the potential for Rep. Peter King's Homeland Security Committee hearings would unfairly "[single] out an entire community, such as Muslim Americans," this morning's hearing with Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano and Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, focused primarily on the efficacy of the government's counterterrorism efforts with regard to homegrown Islamic terrorism. But for a brief five minutes, Democrat Bennie Thompson, the ranking member on the committee, brought the focus to what he considers a great threat to homeland security: anti-tax groups.
Connecting the dots.5:00 PM, Feb 7, 2011 • By GARY SCHMITT
When it comes to homeland security, President Obama’s first year in office was a nightmare. In September, Nidal Malik Hasan, a radicalized Army major, murdered 13 defense department employees at Ft. Hood, Texas.