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Path to immigration reform: Six key elements to exit processing for US visitors

An effective US exit program provides the essential foundation today for smoother immigration reform tomorrow.

Overview

An effective exit program closes the loop on the US visitor lifecycle, providing immigration and border security officials with a complete picture—a picture that will ultimately aid in distinguishing visitors from potential security threats and illegal workers.

Learn about the six key factors Accenture has identified that are essential in creating a successful exit system for US immigration reform.

Background
Every year, approximately 280 million non-US citizens cross America’s borders. A simple and effective exit process will aid in distinguishing visitors from potential security threats and illegal workers, and is the cornerstone of permanent immigration reform in the United States. Exit processing can also help to improve border security and create a path to citizenship for those who request it and are eligible.

When implemented at all air, sea and land ports of entry, an exit program can also:

  • Accurately identify overstays and improve efficient deployment of law enforcement resources.

  • Help verify employment eligibility and strengthen economic competiveness.

  • Improve the integrity of the border crossing system.

Analysis

For an exit program to succeed, it needs to achieve the target mandated by Congress of identifying 97 percent of foreign travelers who exit the country.

However, it must also:

  • Minimize effects on travelers and other stakeholders

  • Provide a high level of integrity in data collection and processing

  • Help decision making and law enforcement efforts be as efficient as possible.

Integrating with the complementary US-VISIT program will also be key.

Recommendations

Accenture’s ability to implement successful programs quickly has helped governments tackle immigration’s toughest and most critical challenges. Through our in-depth knowledge, we have identified six factors that are key to creating a successful exit system that enables immigration reform:

  • Integrate biometric exit into existing travel processes. Creating awareness of the program well in advance is key, and so will ensuring the system’s convenience.

  • Situate data collection points strategically. Collecting biometric and biographic data gives confidence that visitors are not remaining in the country undocumented.

  • Motivate travelers and facilitate participation. Make it easy for travelers to know what to do, and keep the exit process similar to the entry process.

  • Make flexible and easily upgradeable solutions. Use customizable capabilities to meet requirements, and provide self-service options to save time and the cost of manual data collection.

  • Close the loop on processing. Build on the success of the Automated Biometric Identification (IDENT) system by integrating it into the system.

  • Smooth and speed the ID process. Bio-tokens help verify identities quickly and effectively, and potentially eliminate manual processing of arrival and departure forms.

Video

Every day, US-ENTRY successfully identifies criminals and potential security threats—with a success rate of 98 percent—at US borders.

US-EXIT completes the circle of security; it will be the second half of that mission. Just as US-ENTRY processes identities in less than two minutes, US-EXIT uses biometrics to identify who has left the country, who has stayed within the borders beyond VISA requirements and who is violating U.S. immigration law. This video gives you insights into the much-needed companion to US-ENTRY: US-EXIT.