Safeguarding Our Borders: Effective Ways To Screen For Illegal Migrants 

Image by Tony Webster

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As Congress holds hearings about imminent threats from Islamist terrorists who crossed into the country courtesy of the Biden administration’s Open Borders policies, recall President Trump’s March 6, 2017, Executive Order (EO), “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals.”

As expected, it has been met with objection, which grew into hysteria, by opponents on the Left, some on the Right, and Muslim organizations. The Left joined by pro-Muslim organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood’s affiliated Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), in protesting the suspension of U.S. visas to Muslim refugees and travelers from only seven countries, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia, which have been identified by the Obama administration as Islamic-terrorist-prone countries.

Fast-forward: On February 2, 2021, days after entering office, President Biden signed an EO, fulfilling his election promise to reverse President Trump’s immigration policies. Since then, the United States’ borders have been opened to everyone from anywhere. Millions of illegal migrants from more than 170 countries crossed the open borders. Among them large number of migrants from “Islamic terrorist prone countries.” A few thousand have been arrested by US security agencies. But most “gotaways” many affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS), Hezbollah, Hamas, and other radical Muslim terrorist groups are somewhere in the country. Recently, more than 400 were identified for suspected affiliation with ISIS after they were cleared and released into the country. The growing number of suspected terrorists among the millions who crossed into the US led to increased warnings from law-enforcement officials and Congressional hearings. 

On June 7, testifying before the Senate Appropriation Committee, FBI Director Christopher Wray issued again a stern warning of the rising threats of “coordinated attack here in the homeland,” as well as attacks by “lone actors or small radicalized groups,” especially following the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack on Israel. 

On the same day, the latest report of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General was released. It concluded that DHS is unable to “effectively” screen and vet “non-citizens and asylum seekers entering the United States. “Technology, procedures, and coordination were not fully effective.” Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “could not access all Federal data necessary” and lacked the biometric technology necessary for a reliable screening and vetting. Mind you, this relates only to those who registered at the border. What about the millions of “gotaways”? The hundreds of thousands flown into the U.S. by the Biden administration? The unknown number of illegal migrants who married American citizens that President Biden just offered “work permits, deportation protections and a path to citizenship”?

The June 11 news of the arrest of eight Tajiks with ties to ISIS and the increasing reports of homicides committed by illegals highlighted the lack of proper screening and vetting.

However, some technologies could effectively screen and vet asylum seekers, foreigners applying to enter the US, and illegal migrants who are already here. Such a system was developed by an Israeli company with a grant from the Department of Homeland Security and was ready in 2016.  But the Obama administration refrained from utilizing it.

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In 2016, Obama’s DHS refused to use the effective, automated, unbiased, and non-intrusive system, claiming that it “would constitute an intrusion on the privacy of those screened by the system” and “[i]t may reflect on VISA applicants or Immigrant’s civil rights,” though, American laws do not protect foreigners applying for a U.S. visa, or migrants who illegally entered the country. 

The Suspect Detection System (SDS) has developed a counterterrorism and insider-threat detection technology named COGITO. This technology enables law enforcement agencies to rapidly investigate U.S. visa and asylum applicants. This automated examination system can determine in 6-7 minutes if an individual harbors hostile intent. The SDS uses an automated interviewing decision-making system with varying stimuli, which is “adaptable to a variety of different questioning contexts” with different languages and adjusts to different cultures, allowing timely detection of hostile intent. ”It has 95% accuracy (with only 4% false positive and 10% false negative), according to the company’s website.

The SDS allows the screening of many people quickly. It “does not require operator training. One operator can handle many stations simultaneously, allowing for a timely and efficient screening.  “It has a central management and database system that stores all test results, analysis, and data mining, and is deployed and integrated with governmental agencies.” The prevention of a terrorist attack and detection of criminal behavior is more likely to succeed when a hostile intent can be detected in real-time. 

“Such systems can also question employees, contract workers, migrants or passengers and find if any of them joined or collaborated with ISIS, for example,” says Shabtai Shoval, the co-founder of the Israeli Suspect Detection Systems (SDS) Company. A terrorism expert, Mr. Shoval, says, “The “basic preconditions to carry out a terrorist attack are intent, capability, and opportunity. When one intends to attack, the capability and opportunity will eventually present themselves,” often, as Mr. Wray warns, in coordinated attacks. The SDS technology can help prevent and foil such attacks. 

According to Mr. Shoval, in 2016, when DHS rejected the system it paid to develop, it was used in 15 countries, including Israel, Singapore, China, India, and Mexico. It has helped security agencies globally catch terrorists and solve crimes. However, the DHS rejection forced the company to abandon the use of the system. Nevertheless, this technology is available and could help the US screen and vet applicants for admission to the U.S. effectively and quickly. 

Alas, President Biden, like President Obama, would not be inclined to use such technology, for it would defeat his purpose to create more chaos in the country and get illegals to vote for him and the Democrat Party.

There is hope Former President and Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, who vowed to order the deportation of millions of illegal migrants from the U.S. on his first day in office, would consider using the SDS or similar technology to screen to exclude those who came to this country to harm it.


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