The Federal governemt is about to unveil the new VISIT system, which aims to keep track of when and where each of the one million foreign visitors to the US each year enter and leave the country. In a way, it is incredible that they don’t already have a system to keep track of this. On the other hand, if the system is administered with the habitual heavy-handed inefficiency we have come to expect from large federal programs it is sure to cause ten times as many problems as it solves.
The new intensified scrutiny and delays facing student visa applicants have already decimated university-based programs that depend on them (like mine) and the hassels and glitches promise to get worse as SEVIS, another huge new Department of Homeland Security database, this one to track all of the foreign students in the country, down to their absences from class, comes fully on-line.
“The federal government is about to unveil a blueprint for one of its largest information technology projects ever, a vast automated system that will track every foreigner entering the United States with a visa. “