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Secretary Napolitano highlighted the Department's progress in 2011, emphasizing the major steps the Department has taken this year to enhance America's capabilities to secure the nation's borders and engage in smart enforcement of our immigration laws.
- DHS has increased the efficiency and effectiveness of its screening efforts by leveraging capabilities across the Department. As a result of this effort, in 2011, DHS reviewed the 1.6 million visa overstay backlog and referred leads based on national security and public safety priorities to ICE for further investigation. In addition, DHS has initiated implementation of an enhanced biographic exit program, which will better aggregate the information within existing data systems, increase automated matching, incorporate biometric elements, and provide the foundation for a future biometric exit solution.
- USCIS implemented biographic and biometric screening initiatives and studies in order to develop a comprehensive recurrent vetting strategy and extend, where appropriate and legally authorized, the security checks already conducted as a part of immigration benefit application processes.
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement Visa Security Program special agents screened more than one million visa applicants in collaboration with the Department of State.