The DHS Inspector General released a redacted version of a report entitled “Review of CBP Actions Taken to Intercept Suspected Terrorists at U.S. Points of Entry.” It tells the story of an inspection regime that is not yet able to fully leverage the significant investments in improved systems and databases over the past few years, because of mundane issues like the lack of security clearances for frontline CBP officials and inconsistent procedures for reporting suspicious incidents.
The IG makes the following recommendations for improving the point-of-entry processes:
- Expand a biometric information collection program to include volunteers who would not normally provide this information when entering the United States;
- Authorize POE supervisors limited discretion to make more timely admissibility determinations;
- Review port of entry staffing models to ensure the current workforce is able to perform the entire range of CBP mission;
- Establish a policy for more consistent reporting to intelligence agencies the details gathered during secondary interviews;
- Ensure all counterterrorism personnel at POEs are granted an appropriate security clearance.
These are all low-cost, high-value recommendations; diligent efforts to address them would be time well spent.