IG: Criminal Aliens Who Gave False Information to CBP Not Flagged in IDENT Database

September 11, 2012 - 12:44 PM

Private Prisons Immigrants

A Feb. 9, 2007 file photo provided by the Department of Homeland Security shows family detainees walking down the hall at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas. (AP Photo/Department of Homeland Security, Charles Reed, HO, File)

(CNSNews.com) – Criminal aliens who supplied different biographic information to Customs and Border Patrol officers in an attempt to enter the United States were not flagged in the biometrics identification system that Homeland Security uses to screen foreign nationals entering the U.S., Homeland Security Department Acting Inspector General Charles Edwards said Tuesday.

United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology Office (US-VISIT) “is designed to collect and analyze foreign nationals’ biographic and biometric data and provide timely accurate information to border enforcement officials to prevent entries of potentially fraudulent and dangerous individuals,” Edwards told the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security.

IDENT, also known as the Automated Biometrics Identification System, which is maintained by US-VISIT, “contains hundreds of thousands of discrepant records,” Edwards said.

DHS “found hundreds of thousands of instances where the same fingerprint was recorded in US-VISIT’s database with sometimes as many as 14 different names and dates of birth. The vast majority of this faulty data is attributable to data entry errors in the name and date fields,” he said.

Edwards noted “a number of instances where individuals with derogatory information such as criminal aliens supplied different biographic information to CBP officers in an attempt to enter the United States.”

“These individuals were not flagged in the IDENT database,” he said.

He listed several examples of potential fraud: “A male who used two different names and dates of birth to attempt to enter the United States in 2008 and 2011 was identified as a repeated criminal (recidivist) alien,” Edwards said in prepared remarks.

Another example was “a female who was identified as a recidivist alien in 2008 used different biographic data to attempt to enter the United States, once in 2009 and twice in 2011,” he noted.

And also, “A female who was identified as a recidivist alien in 2006 attempted to enter the country on three visits in 2009, 2010, and 2011 under variations of the same name,” Edwards added.

“US-VISIT officials were unable to quantify how many of those inconsistencies came from individuals purposefully presenting fraudulent information at the border,” Edwards said.