By 2020 US Immigration Will Be Digitised

Military lawyers are headed to the US-Mexico border to help with a daunting task: reducing the enormous backlog of immigration cases that are clogging the system and contributing to the chaotic situation there.  The  US Army Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAGs) won’t have much in the way of information technology to help them; the US Citizenship and Immigration Services is just starting a two-year effort to digitize its records.

Recent estimates put the backlog at more than 700,000 cases; it takes an average of more than 600 days to have a case read by one of 312 specialised judges.The US Defense Department has recently announced that it would send 21 military lawyers to see what they could do to help.

During the Obama administration, immigrants who weren’t considered priorities for deportation were often granted stays of a year for agreeing to show up before an immigration judge. President Trump changed that soon after taking office, issuing an executive order that made it easier to deport virtually anyone living in the country illegally. 

With that order, Trump turned misdemeanors, crossing illegally into the United States for the first time is a misdemeanor offense, into crimes worthy of deportation. That overwhelmed the system and the backlog started to grow.

Digitising immigration is one of the “top priorities” of USCIS, said Robert Brown, a developer in the agency’s infrastructure enterprise division. “We are digitising a lot of Truman-era processes that exist within CIS,” Brown said at the AWS Public Sector Summit on Wednesday 20th June. 

The effort is aimed at reducing the backlog, he said. “So far, we’ve done our first program planning session. We had 100 different technologists, both federal and contractors, as well as business and product owners.”

It’s not the first time the government has tried to digitise immigration services. Similar efforts under the Obama administration brought delays and cost overruns without the promised efficiency improvements.

Brown said his group has yet to spend a dime; they’re still figuring out what to buy and build and what to tear down. They hope commercial cloud providers will help the government succeed where it had previously failed.

A big part of the problem is organisational; too many contracts went to small projects that don’t benefit the larger whole. “It’s a very siloed and money-driven-down-to-contracts structure. Silos exist because the money is delivered based on what that mission, sub-mission, or sub-sub mission is,” he said.

So how do you digitise a Truman-era process? “We are…trying to leverage a lot of core technology from cloud providers and data analytics,” said Brown. That includes natural language processing and optical character recognition, in essence, getting software to read many of the forms now processed by humans.

Brown is also interested in applying “robotic process automation”: using software to identify tasks that can be automated. “We’re trying to move to 80 percent automatic processing,” he said. 

This, too, can be a challenge, since some robotic processing might be duplicative across facilities and data centers. Brown said “proper orchestration” and transparent workload sharing would keep software bots from doing the same thing.

But perhaps the biggest challenge will be getting everybody who uses CIS’s services and website, a group that includes immigration lawyers, ICE deportation officers, judges and immigrants themselves, to trust the new system. It will certainly be controversial. Given ICE’s Trump-era effort to hunt down and deport all undocumented residents, the agency will no doubt try to put the new system to use.

DefenseOne

You Might Also Read: 

Can Tech Solve The Brexit Border Puzzle?:

Terrorism Prevention & Border Protection – New Face Recognition Platform:
 

« So Much Hot Air About Virtual Currencies
Israel Gets 20% Of Global Cybersecurity Investment »

CyberSecurity Jobsite
Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

CYRIN

CYRIN

CYRIN® Cyber Range. Real Tools, Real Attacks, Real Scenarios. See why leading educational institutions and companies in the U.S. have begun to adopt the CYRIN® system.

ZenGRC

ZenGRC

ZenGRC - the first, easy-to-use, enterprise-grade information security solution for compliance and risk management - offers businesses efficient control tracking, testing, and enforcement.

Clayden Law

Clayden Law

Clayden Law advise global businesses that buy and sell technology products and services. We are experts in information technology, data privacy and cybersecurity law.

Perimeter 81 / How to Select the Right ZTNA Solution

Perimeter 81 / How to Select the Right ZTNA Solution

Gartner insights into How to Select the Right ZTNA offering. Download this FREE report for a limited time only.

Authentic8

Authentic8

Authentic8 transforms how organizations secure and control the use of the web with Silo, its patented cloud browser.

Via Resource

Via Resource

Via Resource specialise in Information and Cyber Security recruitment in the UK, Europe and USA.

LRQA

LRQA

LRQA are a leading global assurance provider, bringing together unrivalled expertise in certification, brand assurance, cybersecurity, inspection and training.

Radiflow

Radiflow

Radiflow is a leading provider of cyber security solutions for critical infrastructure networks (i.e. SCADA), such as power utilities, oil & gas, water and others.

HexaTrust

HexaTrust

The HEXATRUST club was founded by a group of French SMEs that are complementary players with expertise in information security systems, cybersecurity, cloud confidence and digital trust.

Dellfer

Dellfer

Dellfer secures connected cars and other IOT devices through Intrinsic protection, enabling the most sophisticated cybersecurity attacks to be seen instantly and remediated with precision.

Kasm Technologies

Kasm Technologies

Kasm Browser Isolation - Protect your organization from malware, ransomware and phishing by using zero-trust containerized browsers.

Guidehouse

Guidehouse

Guidehouse is a leading global provider of consulting services to the public and commercial markets with broad capabilities in management, technology, and risk consulting.

TrustGrid

TrustGrid

Trustgrid is a pioneer and leader in secure, cloud-native software-defined connectivity.

eCentre@LindenPointe

eCentre@LindenPointe

The eCenter@LindenPointe provides assistance to the development, management and promotion of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) related business ventures.

ThreatLocker

ThreatLocker

The ThreatLocker Platform provides a Zero Trust security solution that offers a unified approach to protecting users, devices, and networks against the exploitation of zero day vulnerabilities.

Aiden Technologies

Aiden Technologies

Aiden simplifies your IT process, giving you peace of mind and security by ensuring your computers get exactly the software they need and nothing else.

Creative ITC

Creative ITC

Creative ITC is a leading infrastructure and cloud enablement company. We design and deliver exceptional managed services and cloud solutions.

Eden Data

Eden Data

Eden Data is on a mission to break the outdated mold of traditional cybersecurity consulting. We handle all of your security, compliance & data privacy needs.

SecurityLoophole

SecurityLoophole

SecurityLoophole is an independent cyber security news platform with global coverage. Latest updates, reports, news and events related to cyber security.

Fulcrum Technology Solutions

Fulcrum Technology Solutions

The Fulcrum team of technologists are recognized experts in the fields of IT Infrastructure Technology, Security, Service Management and Support.

Leo CybSec

Leo CybSec

Leo CybSec unites a group of Cyber Security experts with 20+ years of collective expertise to help our clients realise and mitigate the cyber challenges and risks facing their business.