James Lankford

05/31/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/31/2023 13:19

Lankford Pushes to Modernize IT Processes and Digital Records to Help Border Law Enforcement

05.31.23

Lankford Pushes to Modernize IT Processes and Digital Records to Help Border Law Enforcement

CLICK HERE to watch Lankford's Q&A on YouTube.

CLICK HERE to watch Lankford's Q&A on Rumble.

WASHINGTON, DC - Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today participated in a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee hearing entitled, "Securing the Nation: Modernizing DHS's Mission-Critical Legacy IT Systems," in which he questioned a panel that included Eric Hysen, who is the Chief Information Officer for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Lankford asked Hysen about the work being done at the Department to modernize IT processes, systems, and security protocols to protect our national security and make the work of our border law enforcement and immigration personnel more efficient and streamlined.

Last week Lankford visited the US-Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona, after Title 42 authority was lifted earlier this month. The visit was to provide ongoing oversight and to see the ongoing crisis at the southern border firsthand. Lankford met with Customs and Border Protection (CBP), US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Excerpts

On efforts to modernize digital processes at the border for our law enforcement and immigration personnel

Lankford: So USCIS, ICE, and CBP, their systems don't necessarily all talk to each other in moments that they need to be able to talk to each other. Do you know of an area between the three of them as they're trying to be able to be more interoperable in their systems and their data links where you don't have to actually contact somebody else to be able to get that information-they can actually pull it as they need to?

Hysen: Yes, Senator, historically that has been correct, and that's been something that we've worked very hard to address over the last several years through our Southwest Border Technology Integration Program. We've been working to digitize the processes for non-citizens encountered at the border to include issuing notices-to-appear digitally as well as handing off information between agenciesā€¦

On Lankford seeing first-hand the vulnerability of being unable to find reliable cell coverage issues on the US side of the US-Mexico border

Lankford: It was interesting as well just on a vulnerability issue how many areas of the border still we don't have cell coverage and are very, very remote. And you've got folks that are out there with a portable device, trying to be able to connect in, and obviously there is no connection. That's a larger issue to be solved. Or that when you're along the border and you get to a Border Patrol station, immediately you open your phone, and it says 'welcome to Mexico' when I'm 50 feet from Mexico, and you suddenly realize all the information I'm processing is processing through a cell tower on the Mexican side, not on the American side. There's some clear vulnerabilities that are thereā€¦

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