The liberal media rejoiced at the news that Donald Trump’s border wall received precious little money from the recent omnibus spending bill — thanks to a combination of anti-wall Republicans, Democrats, and shady dealings — but this is hardly a time for conservatives to abandon ourselves to despair. This message goes out especially to Ann Coulter, who lamented to Tucker Carlson that Trump is failing to act like the “bull in the china shop” she was hoping for. While Ann thinks not building the wall would be the end of America, this attitude completely misses the point.

Even if the brick and mortar wall won’t be going to be built any time soon, the country is making strides towards building what many call the “other border wall.” Made up of improved and more widely deployed biometrics entry-exit screening systems, this long-delayed virtual wall will be indispensable for national security once finally put into place. Trump has already made a first step towards implementing it as part of his executive order on immigration — or as the liberals call it, the “Muslim ban.” Although the courts have suspended parts of it, the section relating to the “Expedited Completion of the Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System” has stayed in place.

A bit of context first: one of the main problems plaguing our nation’s immigration policies has long been the authorities’ inability to verify whether those who are supposed to leave are in fact doing so. Just as difficult is the task of ensuring those who are legally in the country abide by its rules. Roughly half of illegal immigrants (5-6 million people) are people currently in the U.S. who entered the country lawfully but failed to leave when their permission to remain in the country expired. A biometric exit system will help to collect and access individual data and make identity fraud impossible. You can steal someone’s ID, but you can’t take their fingerprints.

This is not a new idea, and it wasn’t even a Republican who initially signed biometrics into law. Back in 1996, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act signed by Bill Clinton called for an automated entry-exit process, but it was never implemented. Even the nonpartisan 9/11 report in 2004 recommended that a comprehensive biometric entry and exit screening system be put into place. Par for the course for government efficiency, the government missed two implementation deadlines in 2006 and 2009. Since then, the issue has gone quiet.

Thanks to Trump’s renewed push to crack down on immigration, the screws have been put on the Department of Homeland Security to finally enact a law that should have been put in place 21 years ago. While Congress appropriated only half of Trump’s requested $3 billion for the Department, the extra funds are specifically earmarked for “enhanced border security” efforts for FY2017, specifically for “maintenance, infrastructure and technology for the existing wall”. It’s no coincidence that DHS head John Kelly emphasized the need to harness technology during his confirmation hearings, suggesting he would work closer with the private sector to develop new solutions.

Thanks in large part to that two-decade delay, the U.S. is now merely following in the footsteps of other countries afflicted by unsustainable levels of immigration. Europe’s border agency Frontex, rattled to the core by a seemingly endless refugee crisis and terror spree, has tasked tech companies to come up with ways to track and control the flow of people trying to reach the continent before they get there. It has also earmarked 30 million Euros to upgrade facial recognition systems and improve data storage in order to help authorities track irregulars.

On the other side of the globe, Australia has also taken significant steps towards curbing the uncontrolled entry of refugees and immigrants. The country’s Immigration Department was awarded a $95.4 million budget boost for 2017 to introduce technologies for processing traveler visas and assessing security risks.

The world’s frontrunner on biometrics system, though, remains Israel, a country that is locked in a constant battle with terrorism like no other. The government has plans to make biometric ID cards linked to a database mandatory for Israeli citizens. That way, identity theft is made more difficult, making it harder for terrorists to pose as Israelis and carry out devastating attacks in large population centers. Similarly, in order to bolster the security of its travel documents, Peru hired France’s Imprimerie Nationale to develop a new biometric passport — a passport which then helped the country get visa free access to the European Union.

So as long as Homeland Security gets its act together and puts biometric requirements into place, there’s no need to bemoan the suspension of the border wall. Besides, the wall would do nothing to address the millions of illegal immigrants already in the country. The biometric entry-exit tracking system, on the other hand, will have a drastic effect and will eventually be more important for national security. Now all we need is for somebody to tell Ann.

The liberal media rejoiced at the news that Donald Trump’s border wall received precious little money from the recent omnibus spending bill — thanks to a combination of anti-wall Republicans, Democrats, and shady dealings — but this is hardly a time for conservatives to abandon ourselves to despair. This message goes out especially to Ann Coulter, who lamented to Tucker Carlson that Trump is failing to act like the “bull in the china shop” she was hoping for. While Ann thinks not building the wall would be the end of America, this attitude completely misses the point.

Even if the brick and mortar wall won’t be going to be built any time soon, the country is making strides towards building what many call the “other border wall.” Made up of improved and more widely deployed biometrics entry-exit screening systems, this long-delayed virtual wall will be indispensable for national security once finally put into place. Trump has already made a first step towards implementing it as part of his executive order on immigration — or as the liberals call it, the “Muslim ban.” Although the courts have suspended parts of it, the section relating to the “Expedited Completion of the Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System” has stayed in place.

A bit of context first: one of the main problems plaguing our nation’s immigration policies has long been the authorities’ inability to verify whether those who are supposed to leave are in fact doing so. Just as difficult is the task of ensuring those who are legally in the country abide by its rules. Roughly half of illegal immigrants (5-6 million people) are people currently in the U.S. who entered the country lawfully but failed to leave when their permission to remain in the country expired. A biometric exit system will help to collect and access individual data and make identity fraud impossible. You can steal someone’s ID, but you can’t take their fingerprints.

This is not a new idea, and it wasn’t even a Republican who initially signed biometrics into law. Back in 1996, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act signed by Bill Clinton called for an automated entry-exit process, but it was never implemented. Even the nonpartisan 9/11 report in 2004 recommended that a comprehensive biometric entry and exit screening system be put into place. Par for the course for government efficiency, the government missed two implementation deadlines in 2006 and 2009. Since then, the issue has gone quiet.

Thanks to Trump’s renewed push to crack down on immigration, the screws have been put on the Department of Homeland Security to finally enact a law that should have been put in place 21 years ago. While Congress appropriated only half of Trump’s requested $3 billion for the Department, the extra funds are specifically earmarked for “enhanced border security” efforts for FY2017, specifically for “maintenance, infrastructure and technology for the existing wall”. It’s no coincidence that DHS head John Kelly emphasized the need to harness technology during his confirmation hearings, suggesting he would work closer with the private sector to develop new solutions.

Thanks in large part to that two-decade delay, the U.S. is now merely following in the footsteps of other countries afflicted by unsustainable levels of immigration. Europe’s border agency Frontex, rattled to the core by a seemingly endless refugee crisis and terror spree, has tasked tech companies to come up with ways to track and control the flow of people trying to reach the continent before they get there. It has also earmarked 30 million Euros to upgrade facial recognition systems and improve data storage in order to help authorities track irregulars.

On the other side of the globe, Australia has also taken significant steps towards curbing the uncontrolled entry of refugees and immigrants. The country’s Immigration Department was awarded a $95.4 million budget boost for 2017 to introduce technologies for processing traveler visas and assessing security risks.

The world’s frontrunner on biometrics system, though, remains Israel, a country that is locked in a constant battle with terrorism like no other. The government has plans to make biometric ID cards linked to a database mandatory for Israeli citizens. That way, identity theft is made more difficult, making it harder for terrorists to pose as Israelis and carry out devastating attacks in large population centers. Similarly, in order to bolster the security of its travel documents, Peru hired France’s Imprimerie Nationale to develop a new biometric passport — a passport which then helped the country get visa free access to the European Union.

So as long as Homeland Security gets its act together and puts biometric requirements into place, there’s no need to bemoan the suspension of the border wall. Besides, the wall would do nothing to address the millions of illegal immigrants already in the country. The biometric entry-exit tracking system, on the other hand, will have a drastic effect and will eventually be more important for national security. Now all we need is for somebody to tell Ann.



Source link

About the Author:

Leave a Reply


Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 134217728 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 7839 bytes) in /home/conserv/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1842