Alien Smuggling: Management and Operational Improvements Needed to Address Growing Problem

GGD-00-103 Published: May 01, 2000. Publicly Released: May 01, 2000.
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Highlights

Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Immigration and Naturalization Service's (INS) implementation of a strategy to combat alien smuggling, focusing on: (1) the nature and extent of alien smuggling into the United States; (2) INS' strategy for combatting alien smuggling; and (3) how well the strategy has been implemented and the results to date.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Directorate of Border and Transportation Security The Commissioner of INS should establish criteria for opening an anti-smuggling case to help ensure that INS' anti-smuggling resources are focused on the highest priority cases.
Closed - Implemented
In October 2002, INS established a Comprehensive Investigations Reporting, Analysis, and Control system describing the policies and procedures for opening and managing anti-smuggling cases. The system defines and prioritizes for investigation the different types of anti-smuggling cases that can be opened.
Directorate of Border and Transportation Security The Commissioner of INS should establish a cost-effective case tracking and management system of alien smuggling investigations that is automated, agencywide, and readily available to investigative personnel and program managers to facilitate the sharing of case information and prevent duplication of effort.
Closed - Implemented
On April 8, 2002, INS mandated the use of the Criminal Investigative Reporting System (CIRS), an agencywide automated case tracking system, by all INS investigative components by October 1, 2002. CIRS integration with other automated INS enforcement systems should be completed during fiscal year 2004, assuming DOJ budget recommendations for fiscal years 2003 and 2004 are not severely reduced.
Directorate of Border and Transportation Security The Commissioner of INS should establish performance measures for the anti-smuggling efforts and intelligence program with which to gauge program effects.
Closed - Implemented
In fiscal year 2009, Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of Investigations (OI)established as a performance measure for its alien smuggling investigative efforts the percentage of closed cases that result in an enforcement effort, defined as an arrest, indictment, conviction, seizure, fine or penalty. OI has an Intelligence Program to support OI investigations. The Intelligence Program's performance measure is the number of counter-narcotics intelligence requests satisfied. The program does not have a performance measure related to alien smuggling.
Directorate of Border and Transportation Security The Commissioner of INS should require that intelligence reports be prepared using a database format so the information can be systematically analyzed.
Closed - Implemented
INS has developed an automated intelligence reporting form in database format that is available to every officer in INS. The analytical software used to systematically analyze the data is available INS wide.

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