Congress

McCaskill wants answers on immigration IT

Claire McCaskill 

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) is worried about reactivating a troubled USCIS immigration system.

The ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee wants answers on a DHS plan to restart the troubled Electronic Immigration System, after months out of service. 

"It's a threat to our national security if we're sending out incorrect or duplicate green cards which could wind up in the hands of terrorists or criminals," Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said in a July 12 letter on the much-criticized ELIS system.

McCaskill said plans at DHS to restart the system prompted the department's inspector general to

In a July 10 letter to USCIS Acting Director James McCament, McCaskill noted that the DHS IG had also testified in March that the system may have resulted in 20,000 reports about missing immigration green cards.

"The Department of Homeland Security cannot and should not plan to use this technology again unless they're absolutely sure they've resolved any remaining problems," said McCaskill.

McCaskill requested a briefing on the system and the agency's plans for addressing the IG's concerns. She asked to see all acquisition documents associated with the system, including contracts and decision memos. McCaskill also said she wanted to see a five-year budget plan and analyses of ELIS alternatives.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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