Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Ranking Member of the Committee, announced a report from the GAO examining the state of US-VISIT. The report, entitled "Homeland Security: Strategic Solution for US-VISIT Program Needs to Be Better Defined, Justified, and Coordinated," notes that progress has been made toward implementing the entry portion of US-VISIT, but criticizes the Department for shortcomings in coordinating US-VISIT with other border security programs and failing to present a solution for the exit portion of the program.
Chairman Thompson released the following statement with the release of the report:
"This report provides valuable insight into the Department's US-VISIT system. While the Department has had some success implementing a 10-print entry system, US-VISIT exit remains behind schedule and unfinished. It is difficult to understand why after five years and over 100 million dollars spent, DHS has yet to fully define and economically justify a comprehensive exit capability. As GAO points out, the longer DHS goes without an exit capability, the more its border security mission suffers. The Committee will continue to perform vigorous oversight on the system and will closely be examining the Department's upcoming proposed rule for air exit."
Ranking Member King added the following statement:
"While much more work remains to be done, the Department deserves to be commended on the efforts it has made to implement the entry portion of US-VISITthis is an important tool in the continued security of our homeland," King said. "However, the system will not be complete until we have implemented an exit portion as well. The inability to reliably identify individuals who have overstayed their permitted stay in the United States presents a significant national security vulnerability."