Enhancing Immigration Security through Data Analytics
Data simplification allows users to focus on the exact information they need. There are many immigration-related data sets with valuable figures that can be difficult to decipher. However, new software tools can simplify this process to facilitate more efficient work products. For example, these tools could allow DHS to more easily sift through specific data on Legal Permanent Residents or other relevant immigration statistics to identify trends and narrow their focus on the highest risk applicants.
Furthermore, DHS could learn from the successful use of data storage at other U.S. agencies like the Department of Defense (DoD). For example, DoD uses a capability – Acropolis – to collect, store, and analyze various types of information to support the security of DoD Cyber Operations. This provides lessons such as:
- Understanding the global impact of the data
- Best practices for data security
- Overall support to the Department’s cyber missions
Big Data is a reality for Government entities to track spending, illegal aliens, relief supplies, and more. While DHS has clearly started to invest in data analytics to enhance security at our borders, it should continue to simplify data processes and collaborate with its partners to improve data storage to achieve long-term success. From the enterprise level, DHS can help its agencies develop lasting and valuable capabilities to analyze data at the biggest level – to address the biggest threats.
How can the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) approach the magnitude of protecting ports and waters, anticipating risk of visitors to the U.S., or confirming that immigrants should become U.S. citizens because they pose no threat?
A risk-based approach is the only way. Data Analytics is one way to mitigate risk by narrowing an agency’s focus on the highest risk ships, visitors, or immigrants.
Today, DHS uses data analytics to improve project efficiency and create solutions for a variety of complex challenges in areas like immigration and border security. Recently, data simplification and data storage have emerged as two of the predominant trends in data analytics at DHS. To further its mission, DHS should use these trends to develop initiatives to better track transportation and immigration statistics to enhance our national security.
For example, as the Coast Guard has to cover extensive area on a limited budget, the C4ISR program uses data analytics to improve information sharing between ships and planes through the use of networks, electronic sensors, and data processors.