While many American passengers boarding Airplanes are being forced to make a choice between full body X-ray or getting their junk rubbed, foreign seafarers are basically getting “carte blanche” to anonymously enter the country. According to the report the Customs and Border Protection officers go on the Cargo Ships to inspect the cargo and the manifests etc, but hey have no portable electronic hook-ups to double check who they found on a particular ship with the lists pre-approved by their bosses at Department of Homeland Security.
This report should not come as a surprise to our “protectors” a the DHS, as the GAO report also claims the State Department has already warned DHS of this security hole, and told them it could be exploited by terrorists.
CBP conducts cargo vessel admissibility inspections on board the vessel without the benefit of tools to electronically verify a seafarer’s identity or immigration status because of a lack of available connectivity to network communications in the maritime environment. DHS has prioritized the acquisition of a mobile version of this technology capability but expects it to take several years before the technology is developed and available. CBP agrees that obtaining this capability is important but has not assessed the risks of not having it. Until CBP obtains the capability, identifying the risks and options to address them could better position CBP in preventing illegal immigration at seaports…By not having the ability to electronically verify the documents, CBP’s methods for inspecting cargo vessel crew offers less assurance that CBP is identifying fraud among documents presented by the foreign seafarers seeking admission into the United States.
The Report warns:
Given the number of seafarers transiting U.S. ports each year and the continued threats posed by terrorism to the United States, it is important that seafarer risks are identified and actions are taken to ensure security of vessels and port infrastructure, while preventing illegal immigration.
The report casts doubt on the Department of Homeland Security’s data concerning illegal entries by foreign seafarers at U.S. seaports, saying it is of “undetermined reliability” because “DHS has no accurate and reliable estimate to gauge the extent of the incidents.”
In addition, both CBP and Coast Guard have reported challenges with respect to their reporting and tracking of the illegal entry events by seafarers, known as absconders and deserters, and based on our overall assessment, we found their data to be of undetermined reliability. Moreover, Coast Guard and CBP records of these incidents vary considerably, and consequently, DHS has no accurate and reliable estimate to gauge the extent of the incidents.
Gee, don’t we all feel a lot safer right now?
Much of the “political argument about immigration surrounds the progressives unstated goal of completely open borders. That can be the only explanation for the fact that they have shown little desire to move their argument ahead by creating legislation for the United States to control who comes into the country. If they came up with a plan to secure the borders, they would probably win the political argument about amnesty for the illegals already in the country. But all they ever come up with is a retread of the same amnesty bill hidden by a new coat of paint.
The DHS under the present administration, works hard to find ways to warn people about conservative activists or our heroes returning from service overseas, but they need years to figure out how to make one computer to talk to another so we can know who is entering the country on a cargo ship. What a heck of a set of priorities they have!