Tags: Immigration | immigration forms | homeland security | immigration and customs | online forms

$1 Billion Spent on Immigration Forms, Just 1 Online

$1 Billion Spent on Immigration Forms, Just 1 Online
 (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 09 November 2015 01:00 PM

In an attempt manage immigration reform, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has spent more than $1 billion to digitize its paper-based filing system, however the Washington Post reports that only one immigration form out of 95 are able to be completed online.

Aside from only one form being available, the project that was initially projected to be completed by 2013 and cost a half-billion dollars is now totaling $3.1 billion and is not expected to be completed for an additional four years, the Post reports.

Despite the USCIS processing close to eight million applications per year, only one form to renew or replace a stolen or lost "green card," can be filled out online while the rest of the forms can only be done by paper.

"You're going on 11 years into this project, they only have one form, and we're still a paper-based agency,'' said Kenneth Palinkas, former president of the union that represents employees at the immigration agency. "It's a huge albatross around our necks.''

According to a report, the Government Accountability Office has criticized the USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security for awarding the initial $500 million computer contract initiative to IBM "prior to having a full understanding of requirements and resources needed to execute the program."

The Washington Post notes that from the get-go, the operation to digitize the system has been "mismanaged" with multiple software glitches and other defects as well has put in jeopardy "efforts to overhaul the nation's immigration policies."

"It's shameful that they've been on this for a decade and haven't been able to get a working system in place,'' said Vic Goel, an immigration lawyer in Reston, Va., who according to The Washington Post has followed the computerization project as a liaison for the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

However, Shin Inouye, a USCIS spokesman said, "We took a fresh start — a fix that required an overhaul of the development process — from contracting to development methodology to technology.

"Our goals remain to improve operations, increase efficiency and prepare for any changes to our immigration laws. Based on our recent progress, we are confident we are moving in the right direction.”

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In an attempt manage immigration reform, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has spent more than $1 billion to digitize its paper-based filing system, however the Washington Post reports that only one immigration form out of 95 are able to be completed online.
immigration forms, homeland security, immigration and customs, online forms
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2015-00-09
Monday, 09 November 2015 01:00 PM
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