Last week Secretary Napolitano released a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report highlighting the significant progress that DHS had made in fulfilling specific recommendations by the 9/11 Commission.
This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the most horrific terrorist attacks in U.S. history – 9/11. While the memories of that day are still sobering, I’m proud to say that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has played an integral role in making the world a safer place by bolstering the security of our borders and maintaining the integrity of our identification documents.
Here are a few ICE initiatives that are helping to improve secure identification:
• Our specially trained ICE agents, assigned to the Visa Security Program, are identifying and stopping potential terrorist and criminal suspects before entering the U.S. Deployed to diplomatic posts overseas, ICE agents perform thorough visa application reviews in order to assess whether applicants are attempting to enter the U.S. for illegitimate purposes.
• Our world-renowned Forensic Document Laboratory (FDL) is on the leading edge of detecting and deterring use of fraudulent documents by terrorist and other criminal who are trying to elude or outsmart the screening process.
• We are furthering our nation’s safety through management of the International Student and Exchange Visitor Program, which tracks and monitors the status and activities of nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors. Our agents ensure that only legitimate foreign students or exchange students gain entry to the U.S. and that they abide by the terms of their visas while here.
• We are also assisting the DHS-wide effort to address the backlog of unvetted potential visa overstays by investigating leads with potential national security concerns.
These examples just touch the surface on how ICE has effectively responded to recommendations put forth in the 9/11 Commission Report. While threats continually evolve, we must continue to do our part to ensure a stronger, more secure nation.