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The 2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review

Description: This report provides an update to the five basic homeland security missions set forth by the first Quadrennial Homeland Security Review in 2010. They include: prevent terrorism and enhance security, secure and manage our borders, enforce and administer our immigration laws, safeguard and secure cyberspace, and strengthen national preparedness and resilience.
Date: June 2014
Creator: United States. Department of Homeland Security.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

9/11 Commission: Legislative Action Concerning U.S. Immigration Law and Policy in the 108th Congress

Description: From Summary: "This report discusses some of the major immigration areas that were under consideration in the above-mentioned comprehensive reform proposals, including asylum, biometric tracking systems, border security, document security, exclusion, immigration enforcement, and visa issuances."
Date: December 21, 2004
Creator: Garcia, Michael John & Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: Partnership Agreements and Enhanced Oversight Could Strengthen Coordination of Efforts on Indian Reservations

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is coordinating in a variety of ways with tribes, such as through joint operations and shared facilities and Operation Stonegarden--a DHS grant program intended to enhance coordination among local, tribal, territorial, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in securing United States borders. However, the Border Patrol and tribes face coordination challenges. Officials from five tribes reported information-sharing challenges with the Border Patrol, such as not receiving notification of federal activity on their lands. Border Patrol officials reported challenges navigating tribal rules and decisions. Border Patrol and DHS have existing agreements with some, but not all, tribes to address specific border security issues, such as for the establishment of a law enforcement center on tribal lands. These agreements could serve as models for developing additional agreements between the Border Patrol and other tribes on their specific border security coordination challenges. Written government-to-government agreements could assist Border Patrol and tribal officials with enhancing their coordination, consistent with practices for sustaining effective coordination. DHS established an office to coordinate the components' tribal outreach efforts, which has taken actions such as monthly teleconferences with DHS tribal liaisons to discuss tribal issues and programs, but does not have a mechanism for monitoring and overseeing outreach efforts, consistent with internal control standards. Such monitoring should be performed continually; ingrained in the agency's operations; and clearly documented in directives, policies, or manuals to help ensure operations are carried out as intended. Implementing an oversight mechanism could help enhance DHS's department-wide awareness of and accountability for border security coordination efforts with the tribes while identifying those areas that work well and any needing improvement."
Date: April 5, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: Enhanced DHS Oversight and Assessment of Interagency Coordination Is Needed for the Northern Border

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The challenges of securing the U.S.-Canadian border involve the coordination of multiple partners. The results of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) efforts to integrate border security among its components and across federal, state, local, tribal, and Canadian partners are unclear. GAO was asked to address the extent to which DHS has (1) improved coordination with state, local, tribal, and Canadian partners; (2) progressed in addressing past federal coordination challenges; and (3) progressed in securing the northern border and used coordination efforts to address existing vulnerabilities. GAO reviewed interagency agreements, strategies, and operational documents that address DHS's reported northern border vulnerabilities such as terrorism. GAO visited four Border Patrol sectors, selected based on threat, and interviewed officials from federal, state, local, tribal, and Canadian agencies operating within these sectors. While these results cannot be generalized, they provided insights on border security coordination."
Date: December 17, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: Summary of Covert Tests and Security Assessments for the Senate Committee on Finance, 2003-2007

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "From January 2003 to September 2007, GAO testified before the Committee on three occasions to describe security vulnerabilities that terrorists could exploit to enter the country. GAO's first two testimonies focused on covert testing at ports of entry--the air, sea, and land locations where international travelers can legally enter the United States. In its third testimony, GAO focused on limited security assessments of unmanned and unmonitored border areas between land ports of entry. GAO was asked to summarize the results of covert testing and assessment work for these three testimonies. This report discusses the results of testing at land, sea, and air ports of entry; however, the majority of GAO's work was focused on land ports of entry. The unmanned and unmonitored border areas GAO assessed were defined as locations where the government does not maintain a manned presence 24 hours per day or where there was no apparent monitoring equipment in place. GAO assessed a nonrepresentative selection of these locations and did not attempt to evaluate all potential U.S. border security vulnerabilities. Further, GAO's work was limited in scope and cannot be projected to represent systemic weaknesses. In response to this report, DHS provided a written update on numerous border protection efforts it has taken to enhance border security since 2003. GAO did not attempt to verify the information provided by DHS, but has included the response in this report."
Date: May 16, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: Actions Needed to Strengthen Management of Department of Homeland Security's Visa Security Program

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Homeland Security Act of 2002 required that the Department of Homeland Security's on-site personnel in Saudi Arabia review all visa applications. The act also authorized the expansion of the Visa Security Program to other embassies and consulates to provide expert advice and training to consular officers, among other things. Given the congressional interest in effective implementation of the Visa Security Program, we assessed (1) the Visa Security Officers' activities in Saudi Arabia, and (2) DHS's plans to expand its Visa Security Program to other consular posts overseas."
Date: July 29, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: DHS's Visa Security Program Needs to Improve Performance Evaluation and Better Address Visa Risk Worldwide

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since 2003, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Visa Security Program (VSP) has participated in the visa process by reviewing applications at some embassies and consulates, with the intention of preventing individuals who pose a threat from entering the United States. The attempted bombing of an airline on December 25, 2009, renewed concerns about the security of the visa process and the effectiveness of the VSP. For this report GAO assessed (1) the ability of DHS's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to measure the program's objectives and performance, (2) challenges to VSP operations, and (3) ICE efforts to expand the VSP program. To evaluate the VSP, we reviewed VSP data, guidance, and the ICE's 5-year expansion plan. We also interviewed ICE officials, and observed VSP operations at 6 posts overseas."
Date: March 31, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: Key Unresolved Issues Justify Reevaluation of Border Surveillance Technology Program

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In September 2004, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established America's Shield Initiative (ASI)--a program that included a system of sensors, cameras, and databases formerly known as the Integrated Surveillance Intelligence System (ISIS)--to detect, characterize, and deter illegal breaches to the northern and southern U.S. borders. The goals of the ASI program were to address ISIS capability limitations and support the department's antiterrorism mission. In April 2005, department officials told GAO that ISIS was subsumed within ASI. By congressional mandate, GAO reviewed the program to determine (1) the operational needs that ASI was intended to address and DHS's plans for ASI, (2) the steps that DHS had taken to ensure that ASI was aligned with the department's enterprise architecture, and (3) the actions that DHS had taken to establish the capability to effectively manage ASI. In written comments, DHS agreed with a draft of this report, stating that it was factually correct in virtually all aspects. DHS also commented that it has ceased work on ASI and redirected resources to its Secure Border Initiative. It also described program management corrective actions that it plans to implement."
Date: February 22, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: Opportunities to Increase Coordination of Air and Marine Assets

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Three agencies of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have primary responsibility for securing the nation's borders--the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Together, they enforce security across 7,500 miles of land border between the United States and Mexico and Canada, and protect more than 361 seaports and 95,000 miles of coastline. To fulfill their missions, these agencies deploy a variety of valuable air and marine assets. In this report, GAO analyzed (1) what efforts DHS has undertaken to facilitate coordination of the air and marine assets of the three agencies and (2) how the agencies' local air and marine units have, in selected areas, coordinated the use of assets and what challenges they faced."
Date: August 12, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: Despite Progress, Weaknesses in Traveler Inspections Exist at Our Nation's Ports of Entry

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for keeping terrorists and other dangerous people from entering the country while also facilitating the cross-border movement of millions of travelers. CBP carries out this responsibility at 326 air, sea, and land ports of entry. In response to a congressional request, GAO examined CBP traveler inspection efforts, the progress made and the challenges that remain in staffing and training at ports of entry, and the progress CBP has made in developing strategic plans and performance measures for its traveler inspection program. This is a public version of a For Official Use Only report GAO issued on October 5, 2007. To conduct its work, GAO reviewed and analyzed CBP data and documents related to inspections, staffing, and training, interviewed managers and officers, observed inspections at eight major air and land ports of entry, and tested inspection controls at eight small land ports of entry. Information the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) deemed sensitive has been redacted."
Date: November 5, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: Observations on Costs, Benefits, and Challenges of a Department of Defense Role in Helping to Secure the Southwest Land Border

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 mandated that GAO examine the costs and benefits of an increased Department of Defense (DOD) role to help secure the southwest land border. This mandate directed that GAO report on, among other things, the potential deployment of additional units, increased use of ground-based mobile surveillance systems, use of mobile patrols by military personnel, and an increased deployment of unmanned aerial systems and manned aircraft in national airspace. In September 2011, GAO reported that DOD estimated a total cost of about $1.35 billion for two separate border operations—Operation Jump Start and Operation Phalanx—conducted by National Guard forces in Title 32 status from June 2006 to July 2008 and from June 2010 through September 30, 2011, respectively. Further, DOD estimated that it has cost about $10 million each year since 1989 to use active duty Title 10 forces nationwide, through its Joint Task Force-North, in support of drug law enforcement agencies with some additional operational costs borne by the military services. Agency officials stated multiple benefits from DOD’s increased border role, such as assistance to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Border Patrol until newly hired Border Patrol agents are trained and deployed to the border; providing DOD personnel with training opportunities in a geographic environment similar to current combat theaters; contributing to apprehensions and seizures and deterring other illegal activity along the border; building relationships with law enforcement agencies; and strengthening military-to-military relationships with forces from Mexico."
Date: April 17, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: Long-term Strategy Needed to Keep Pace with Increasing Demand for Visas

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress and the Department of State (State) initiated changes to the visa process to increase security, but these changes also increased the amount of time needed to adjudicate a visa. Although maintaining security is of paramount importance, State has acknowledged that long waits for visas may discourage legitimate travel to the United States, potentially costing the country billions of dollars in economic benefits over time, and adversely influencing foreign citizens' opinions of our nation. GAO testified in 2006 that a number of consular posts had long visa interview wait times. This report examines (1) State's data on visa interview wait times, (2) actions State has taken to address wait times, and (3) State's strategy for dealing with projected growth in visa demand."
Date: July 13, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: Additional Actions Needed to Strengthen CBP Efforts to Mitigate Risk of Employee Corruption and Misconduct

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data indicate that arrests of CBP employees for corruption-related activities since fiscal years 2005 account for less than 1 percent of CBP’s entire workforce per fiscal year. The majority of arrests of CBP employees were related to misconduct. There were 2,170 reported incidents of arrests for acts of misconduct such as domestic violence or driving under the influence from fiscal year 2005 through fiscal year 2012, and a total of 144 current or former CBP employees were arrested or indicted for corruption-related activities, such as the smuggling of aliens and drugs, of whom 125 have been convicted as of October 2012. Further, the majority of allegations against CBP employees since fiscal year 2006 occurred at locations along the southwest border. CBP officials have stated that they are concerned about the negative impact that these cases have on agencywide integrity."
Date: December 4, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: Progress and Challenges in DHS Implementation and Assessment Efforts

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has reported progress in stemming illegal cross-border activity, but it could strengthen the assessment of its efforts. For example, since fiscal year 2011, DHS has used the number of apprehensions on the southwest border between ports of entry (POE) as an interim measure for border security. GAO reported in December 2012 that apprehensions decreased across the southwest border from fiscal years 2006 through 2011, generally mirroring a decrease in estimated known illegal entries in each southwest border sector. CBP attributed this decrease in part to changes in the U.S. economy and increased resources for border security. Data reported by CBP's Office of Border Patrol (Border Patrol) show that total apprehensions across the southwest border increased from over 327,000 in fiscal year 2011 to about 357,000 in fiscal year 2012. It is too early to assess whether this increase indicates a change in the trend. GAO testified in February 2013 that the number of apprehensions provides information on activity levels but does not inform program results or resource allocation decisions. Border Patrol is in the process of developing performance goals and measures for assessing the progress of its efforts to secure the border between POEs, but it has not identified milestones and time frames for developing and implementing them, as GAO recommended. DHS concurred with GAO's recommendations and said that it plans to set a date for establishing such milestones and time frames by November 2013."
Date: June 27, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: DHS's Progress and Challenges in Securing U.S. Borders

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has reported progress in stemming illegal cross-border activity, but it could strengthen the assessment of its efforts. For example, since fiscal year 2011, DHS has used the number of apprehensions on the southwest border between ports of entry (POE) as an interim measure for border security. GAO reported in December 2012 that apprehensions decreased across the southwest border from fiscal years 2006 to 2011, which generally mirrored a decrease in estimated known illegal entries in each southwest border sector. CBP attributed this decrease in part to changes in the U.S. economy and increased resources for border security. Data reported by CBP's Office of Border Patrol (Border Patrol) show that total apprehensions across the southwest border increased from over 327,000 in fiscal year 2011 to about 357,000 in fiscal year 2012. It is too early to assess whether this increase indicates a change in the trend. GAO reported in December 2012 that the number of apprehensions provides information on activity levels but does not inform program results or resource allocation decisions. Border Patrol is in the process of developing performance goals and measures for assessing the progress of its efforts to secure the border between POEs, but it has not identified milestones and time frames for developing and implementing them, which GAO recommended that it do. DHS agreed and said that it plans to set a date for establishing such milestones and time frames by November 2013."
Date: March 14, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: Consular Identification Cards Accepted within United States, but Consistent Federal Guidance Needed

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Several state and local government agencies and financial institutions accept consular identification (CID) cards, which are issued by foreign governments to their citizens living abroad. Mexico issued more than 2.2 million CID cards in 2002-2003 and Guatemala issued approximately 89,000 from mid-2002 to 2003. Critics of CID cards say their acceptance facilitates the unlawful stay within the United States of undocumented aliens and may provide opportunities for terrorists to remain undetected in this country. GAO examined (1) the purpose of a CID card and how Mexican and Guatemalan CID cards are being used in the United States, (2) steps Mexico and Guatemala have taken to verify the identities of CID card applicants and incorporate security features in CID cards now used in the United States, and (3) the positions and policies of federal agencies regarding CID cards."
Date: August 24, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: More Emphasis on State's Consular Safeguards Could Mitigate Visa Malfeasance Risks

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Issuing a U.S. visa to a foreign citizen in exchange for money or something of value is a crime that can facilitate entry into the United States of unqualified persons, including those who may wish to do our country harm. Internal controls make it difficult for an employee to commit visa malfeasance without being detected, but, despite these safeguards, visa malfeasance does occur. GAO examined (1) State's internal controls to prevent nonimmigrant visa malfeasance and if they are being implemented and (2) visa malfeasance cases from 2001-2004 and factors cited by State and the Department of Justice (Justice) that contributed to visa malfeasance and affected investigations and prosecutions."
Date: October 6, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: Additional Actions Needed to Eliminate Weaknesses in the Visa Revocation Process

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The National Strategy for Homeland Security calls for preventing foreign terrorists from entering our country and using all legal means to identify; halt; and where appropriate, prosecute or bring immigration or other civil charges against terrorists in the United States. GAO reported in June 2003 that the visa revocation process needed to be strengthened as an antiterrorism tool and recommended that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in conjunction with the Departments of State (State) and Justice, develop specific policies and procedures to ensure that appropriate agencies are notified of revocations based on terrorism grounds and take proper actions. GAO examined whether weaknesses in the visa revocation process identified in its June 2003 report were addressed."
Date: July 13, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: Streamlined Visas Mantis Program Has Lowered Burden on Foreign Science Students and Scholars, but Further Refinements Needed

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In February 2004, GAO reported that improvements were needed in the time taken to adjudicate visas for science students and scholars. Specifically, a primary tool used to screen these applicants for visas (the Visas Mantis program) was operating inefficiently. We found that it took an average of 67 days to process Mantis checks, and many cases were pending for 60 days or more. GAO also found that the way in which information was shared among agencies prevented cases from being resolved expeditiously. Finally, consular officers lacked sufficient program guidance. This report discusses the time to process Mantis checks and assesses actions taken and timeframes for improving the Mantis program."
Date: February 18, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: CBP Lacks the Data Needed to Assess the FAST Program at U.S. Northern Border Ports

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The United States and Canada share a border of nearly 5,525 miles. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is responsible for securing the borders while facilitating trade and travel. CBP launched the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program in 2002 to expedite processing for pre-vetted, low-risk shipments. GAO was requested to assess U.S.-Canadian border delays. This report addresses the following for U.S. northern border land ports of entry: (1) the extent to which wait times data are reliable and reported trends in wait times, (2) any actions CBP has taken to reduce wait times and any challenges that remain, and (3) the extent to which CBP and FAST participants experience the benefits of the FAST program. GAO analyzed CBP information and data on staffing, infrastructure, wait times, training, and the FAST program from 2003 through 2009 to analyze operations. GAO visited six northern border land ports, which were primarily selected based on commercial traffic volume. GAO interviewed importers, trade organizations, and border stakeholders. The results are not generalizable, but provide insights."
Date: July 19, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: State Department Rollout of Biometric Visas on Schedule, but Guidance Is Lagging

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "As a complement to the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) program--a governmentwide program to better control and monitor the entry, visa status, and exit of visitors--the State Department (State) is implementing the Biometric Visa Program at all 207 overseas consulates by October 26, 2004. This program, required by the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002, requires that all persons applying for U.S. visas have certain biometrics (fingerprints) and a digital photograph collected during the visa application interview. This information must be cleared through the DHS Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT) before an applicant can receive a visa. GAO reviewed State's rollout of the program, including its implementation progress and how State and DHS envision the program being used to help adjudicate visas."
Date: September 9, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department