Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) January 4, 2016 - What was once a faint hope began to possibly take shape when the government said the paper forms used by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services would be digitized and put online.
It was a good idea while it lasted. In the process of attempting to implement the good idea, the federal government has shelled out over $1 billion to date to get those records and application forms online. That process started 10 years ago and today there is not much to show for it, with the single exception of one online application that allows immigrants to pay electronically.
The significant delay in the e-streamlining of immigration forms and applications may well put a crimp in the nation’s ability to sniff out security threats and handle immigrants already attempting to become citizens says federal government officials.
Of interest is the fact that the initial cost projections for the project were said to be a half-billion dollars and it was slated to be complete by 2013. Project naysayers are now projecting a cost overrun that may reach $3.1 billion with the final date for implementation sometime in 2019.
It looks like the project was botched from the beginning. The basic plans for the computer system, the framework to run the program, were not completed for nearly three years after the contract was awarded to IBM. And, as real life circumstances dictate in fast-paced industries like computer software and systems, the methodology initially proposed was obsolete before the work to build it started.
“Apparently, all of the other forms needed to run the massive immigration bureaucracy must still be filled out and filed as paperwork. Mismanagement of this project has been rampant since the beginning,” said respected Houston immigration attorney, Annie Banerjee, JD. One form online after 10 years of work is hardly a solution to the immigration backlog. “There were three forms put online originally, but two were removed when the software was trashed,” Banerjee said.
Why did bureaucrats continue to roll the program out in the face of numerous defects, including, but not limited to major software problems? The answer lies in the prevailing political winds. Obama’s administration counted on the program to be a cornerstone of immigration reform. Instead, the program has become the elephant in the room.
It appears that despite various setbacks, the program is still moving forward and is looking at different technology and taking part of the program to the “cloud.” With a new approach, the latest in computing technology and using industry best practices, things may work out in the wash yet. Until the glitches are ironed out, immigration attorneys must still deal with a cumbersome, error-ridden system and hold out hope for the future for their clients.
Law Offices of Annie Banerjee
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Sugar Land, Texas 77478
Phone: (281) 242-9139