DHS directive on immigration and border security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano has announced a wide-ranging action directive on immigration and border security.
Specifically the directive requires certain departments to review and assess plans and policies that address: criminal and fugitive aliens; legal immigration benefit backlogs; southbound gun smuggling; cooperation with the National Guard; widows and widowers of U.S. citizens; immigration detention centers; and electronic employee verification.
For each assessment, a final report is due 20 February this year. The assessments must include metrics of success, gaps in service/resources, partnerships with state and local governments and other federal agencies as well as offer suggestions for reforms, restructuring, and consolidation where needed.
Of particular interest to the security document industry are these excerpts from the full action directive:
- The Electronic Travel Document Program facilitates the travel of persons subject to removal orders. How can the department best secure an expansion of this program to include the consulates of additional countries?
- Electronic Employment Verification. Reducing unauthorized employment is crucial for controlling the problem of illicit migration. E-Verify has been a key component in proposals for comprehensive immigration reform and holds real promise as a central element in effective immigration enforcement that combines border efforts with interior measures. But E-Verify has encountered criticism both for false negatives (persons who are authorized to work but who nonetheless receive a tentative non-confirmation from the system) and for false positives (unauthorized aliens who receive a confirmation because they have borrowed or stolen the identity of an authorized worker). What is the status of the employer monitoring and compliance efforts of the E-Verify system? How can DHS expand such monitoring, including alternative strategies such as electronic detection of suspicious patterns, with an indication of resource requirements? What strategies are available to minimize false negatives? What steps and resources are needed to secure a systematic and detailed study of the origin, prevalence, and types of erroneous non-confirmations, including measuring the rate of correct non-confirmations, and how much time would be required for such a study? What is the status of measures (such as photo tools) designed to minimize false positives? Currently, photo tools are useful for only certain types of documents presented by the worker. What would be needed to make the photo tool applicable to all identity documents presented by covered employees? What is the prospect for using biometrics as part of the screening (done either by the employer or at an offsite location by specialized offices)? What role could data-mining or other innovative strategies play in helping to identify false positives and false negatives? What steps would be most effective both in the short and long term to deter and detect identity fraud? Please also provide an assessment of the laws and regulations on administrative fines for employers.