Filed under: Immigration, National Security, Terrorism | Tags: DHS, Passport Screening, Potential Risks
Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) asked Department of Homeland Security officials to provide data on high-level threats that have managed to slip through visa screenings.. Specifically he asked for a percentage or exact figures on how many people labeled as potential risks have slipped through visa screenings. Officials could not supply an accurate number to the subcommittee.
The witnesses offered to submit data to the House Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security on how they are deporting high-risk targets.
The exchange came as DHS announced that it will ramp up its overseas screening operations as a method of heading off attacks at home on Tuesday. The agency said it will add nine new pre-screening stations in 10 different countries. The officials said the agency has cargo screening stations in 60 ports in 32 countries.
These programs have increased security in American airports and shipping ports; now 36 percent of all travelers to the United States are prescreened, and 80 percent of maritime-cargo traffic is examined before entering port.
Alan Bersin, assistant secretary and chief diplomatic officer for DHS office of policy said ” In a global world, the idea of having borders on a map is a thing of the past. We don’t see the traditional borders: air, land, and sea, as the first signs of entry, but the last.”
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