Federal News Network: Sammies finalist from DHS developed technique for scanning visa applications faster

“How can the Department of Homeland Security possibly vet 40,000 people coming to the United States every day to spot the possible security threats? Until recently, it couldn’t, or it took so long a terrorist could already have moved in. Lori Vislocky developed, in record time and on a shoestring, a modern information system that lets Custom and Border Protection easily screen bad visa applications. She’s technical director in DHS’ Office of Intelligence and Analysis and a finalist in this year’s Service to America Medals program. She joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for more details…”

“Tom Temin: Well, tell us what you did here exactly, and what problem it was you were solving?

Lori Vislocky: Sure. So the the National Vetting Center, it exists under the Department of Homeland Security. And it’s an essential and frankly, as you noted, a long awaited solution for the government to improve information sharing for the vetting of individuals who are seeking travel or immigration benefits to come to the U.S. Unfortunately, the information sharing that underpins the vetting support has historically been very manual and time consuming, inconsistently applied across different programs where you might have some agencies supporting one program, but not another. So pretty ad hoc as the classified support from the intelligence community was usually formed out of one-off relationships or arrangements. And it’s been heavily focused on counterterrorism threats, versus taking what we consider to be an all-threat view in which we’d want to expand to look at threat actors associated with other other threats like transnational organized crime, counterintelligence, and so on. So the government was missing kind of that single coordinating entity to address these issues and ensure that those who are responsible for reviewing applicants who are looking for entry to the U.S., making sure that they have the information they need, when they need it, from those national security partners, and the intel community. So the NVC was created to solve these problems. And when we talk about the National Vetting Center, it’s not like a brick-and-mortar center that you might think of, in terms of like the Terrorist Screening Center or National Counterterrorism Center. It’s very much like a virtual and technical solution here, where we provide a technology platform and process that allows for a coordinated and comprehensive review of the information adapts associated with that applicant that’s applying for the travel to come here, immigration benefit…” Read the full interview here.

Source: Sammies finalist from DHS developed technique for scanning visa applications faster – By Tom Temin, July 21, 2021. Federal News Network.


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