INS moves into Phase 2 of its modernization effort

To help it meet the requirements of new crime and immigration legislation, the
Immigration and Naturalization Service will integrate some of its existing systems and add
new modules.


To do this work for the second phase of the Service Technology Alliance Resource (STAR)
program, INS late last month awarded contracts jointly worth $750 million to Computer
Sciences Corp., Electronic Data Systems Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp.


Under the five-year contracts, the companies will improve and enhance 73 information
technology systems used in nearly every aspect of the INS mission, from law enforcement to
naturalization to customer service, said David Goldberg, deputy associate administrator
for IRM at INS.


The three vendors will also develop, implement and run new INS systems for the more
than 29,000 employees in 90 INS offices around the world, he said.


The work will affect how the Border Patrol identifies border crossers, help INS agents
manage law enforcement cases involving illegal aliens, and monitor benefits and other
paperwork created by naturalization programs, Goldberg said.


Work under the second phase of the three-phase STAR program is the centerpiece of the
modernization effort, he said.


“We are finishing initiatives we started back in 1995,” Goldberg said.
“We are completing the deployment of our infrastructure … completing the
systems. The systems will be used to control the borders, deter illegal aliens and track
benefits paid to legal immigrants.”


The push for STAR modernization came after Congress passed the Violent Crime Reduction
Act of 1995, Goldberg said.


The law has provisions to “remove the incentives for aliens to enter the country
and to make it more difficult to obtain work without having to obtain the appropriate
papers,” he said.


Recent changes in immigration law made it necessary for INS to develop the interfaces
between its older systems, Goldberg said. “We’re not trying to rewrite legacy
systems. We don’t have the money to do that,” he said.


One of those systems is the ENFORCE database, which holds the names of foreign
nationals and their status in the United States. The database serves as a law enforcement
repository that Border Patrol agents and enforcement teams use to check identification
papers at work sites within the United States, for instance.


The vendors will help INS add modules to the ENFORCE database to help it meet new
criteria set by the crime bill.


For instance, IT workers want to add modules to handle overall case management,
prisoner housing requirements, detainee transportation and intelligence on individual
immigrants.


“We will continue to be developing the interfaces between the modules and the
basic ENFORCE repository,” Goldberg said. INS awarded a contract for the first
phase of the STAR project in May to Science Applications International Corp.


The $400 million, five-year contract requires the San Diego company to provide
management and systems integration for the three vendors that won Phase 2 contracts.


SAIC will also help INS create performance standards to measure how well the Phase 2
contractors are doing their work, INS spokeswoman Elaine Komis said.


There is no indication when the contract for the third phase will be awarded, she said.

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