INS balks at IG's findings on systems projects
- By Peyman Pejman
- Mar 31, 1997
Enforce will let INS officers enter data about illegal immigrants into a central
database that all INS investigators and officers across the nation could access. The
database also will let officers cross-reference an immigrant's previous arrest record, if
any, and perform instant searches based on information such as name, date of birth, place
of birth or even variations in name spelling.
Perhaps most gratifying to many immigration officers, the system will identify the
proper immigration forms to fill out and automatically transfer information needed to
The system also will help INS officers recommend appropriate penalties by
telling them whether an illegal immigrant is entering the United States for the first time
or is a repeat offender.
Eventually, INS wants a version that would run on mobile equipment for the field.
The version would connect all border patrol units on a LAN. Using an Oracle Corp.
database, Enforce runs on any 486 or Pentium PC.
Collison says a more advanced version of Enforce is being designed that would let
officers reserve beds for detained immigrants at nearby detention centers or
electronically arrange for transportation to a detention center. No deployment date has
Another automation program that complements Enforce, and which Bromwich criticized,
is Ident, an automated fingerprint identification system that INS uses to track illegal
The system runs under Microsoft Windows NT on Pentium PCs. About 80 INS stations,
mainly along the southwest border but also at some airports, now use the system to
fingerprint illegal immigrants' thumbs, photograph them and transmit the images and the
fingerprint data to INS' central database.
Responding to Bromwich's assertion that there is no network to let INS stations
using Ident to communicate with one another, Collison said the system was not designed for
that purpose. He said INS offices can tap into the fingerprint database by contacting the
main computer center at headquarters.
FBI's fingerprint database, which uses 10-print scans, is not connected to Ident,
but Collison said it may be linked in the future.