INS to set up address info database

The Immigration and Naturalization Service, under pressure from Congress and the Bush administration to do a better job of tracking the millions of people entering the United States each year, plans to set up a central database to manage address information scattered across more than a dozen systems.

The system INS officials envision will pull the information from existing systems used for processing visa requests, employment applications and other routine regulatory operations, according to a notice published today.

One of the systems, for example, is the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, which tracks people entering the country to attend or teach at U.S. schools. Other systems include the Refugees, Asylum and Parole System, an asylum pre-screening system and the Marriage Fraud Amendment System.

Rather than developing the address system from scratch, the agency is looking for information on commercial technology that could be used to integrate information from its systems, according to the notice.

INS, which receives as many as 9 million visa applications annually, admits 1.4 million to 1.7 million people each year to the United States.

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