SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGIES FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF SECTION 110 OF THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION REFORM AND IMMIGRANT RESPONSIBILITY ACT OF 1996 AT LAND BORDERS
IMMIGRATION AND CLAIMS
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS
JULY 23, 1998
Serial No. 129
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCPrinted for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary
For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois, Chairman
F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, Jr., Wisconsin
BILL McCOLLUM, Florida
GEORGE W. GEKAS, Pennsylvania
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
LAMAR SMITH, Texas
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
CHARLES T. CANADY, Florida
BOB INGLIS, South Carolina
BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia
STEPHEN E. BUYER, Indiana
ED BRYANT, Tennessee
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
BOB BARR, Georgia
WILLIAM L. JENKINS, Tennessee
ASA HUTCHINSON, Arkansas
EDWARD A. PEASE, Indiana
CHRIS CANNON, Utah
JAMES E. ROGAN, California
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMARY BONO, California
JOHN CONYERS, Jr., Michigan
BARNEY FRANK, Massachusetts
CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
RICK BOUCHER, Virginia
JERROLD NADLER, New York
ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia
MELVIN L. WATT, North Carolina
ZOE LOFGREN, California
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
MAXINE WATERS, California
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
STEVEN R. ROTHMAN, New Jersey
THOMAS E. MOONEY, Chief of Staff-General Counsel
JULIAN EPSTEIN, Minority Staff Director
Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims
LAMAR S. SMITH, Texas, Chairman
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
WILLIAM L. JENKINS, Tennessee
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCEDWARD A. PEASE, Indiana
CHRIS CANNON, Utah
ED BRYANT, Tennessee
JAMES E. ROGAN, California
MARY BONO, California
MELVIN L. WATT, North Carolina
CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
ZOE LOFGREN, California
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
GEORGE FISHMAN, Chief Counsel
JIM WILON, Counsel
LAURA BAXTER, Counsel
MARTINA HONE, Minority Counsel
C O N T E N T S
July 23, 1998
Smith, Hon. Lamar, a Representative in Congress from the State of Texas, and chairman, Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims
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Brady, Donald, Vice President, Transcore, San Diego, CA
Braunscheidel, Anthony, Business Development Manager, Peace Bridge Authority, Buffalo, NY
Clark, Paul, Chief Scientist, Information Technology, DYNCORP
Cohen, Ann, Vice President, Government Services, EDS
Elias, Joseph, Program Manager, Calspan Operations, Buffalo, NY
Hrinyak, Michael, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Inspections, Immigration and Naturalization Service
O'Gorman, Joseph, National Team Leader for Land Border Passenger Processing, U.S. Customs Service
Mocny, Robert, Former SENTRI Team Leader, Immigration and Naturalization Service
LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Brady, Donald, Vice President, Transcore, San Diego, CA: Prepared statement
Braunscheidel, Anthony, Business Development Manager, Peace Bridge Authority, Buffalo, NY: Prepared statement
Conyers, Hon. John Jr., a Representative in Congress from the State of Michigan: Prepared statement
Cohen, Ann, Vice President, Government Services, EDS: Prepared statement
Elias, Joseph, Program Manager, Calspan Operations, Buffalo, NY: Prepared statement
Hrinyak, Michael, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Inspections, Immigration and Naturalization Service: Prepared statement
O'Gorman, Joseph, National Team Leader for Land Border Passenger Processing, U.S. Customs Service: Prepared statement
Mocny, Robert, Former SENTRI Team Leader, Immigration and Naturalization Service: Prepared statement
ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGIES FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF SECTION 110 OF THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION REFORM AND IMMIGRANT RESPONSIBILITY ACT OF 1996 AT LAND BORDERS
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THURSDAY, JULY 23, 1998
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims,
Committee on the Judiciary,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to other business, at 9:47 a.m., in Room 2237, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Lamar Smith [chairman of the subcommittee] presiding.
Present: Representatives Lamar Smith, Elton Gallegly, William L. Jenkins, Edward A. Pease, Chris Cannon, Ed Bryant, James E. Rogan, Mary Bono, Melvin L. Watt, John Conyers, Jr., Charles E. Schumer, Howard L. Berman, Zoe Lofgren, and Robert Wexler.
Staff present: George Fishman, Chief Counsel; Laura Baxter, Counsel; Judy Kinott, Staff Assistant, and Stephanie Peters, Minority Counsel.
OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN SMITH
Mr. SMITH. We will now proceed to our hearing on alternative technologies for implementation of section 110 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The purpose of this hearing is to look into the technological options available to the Immigration and Naturalization Service for implementing section 110 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 at the land ports-of-entry. Section 110 requires that the INS implement an automated entry-exit control system for all aliens at all points of entry to the United Statesair, land, seaby October 1, 1998.
Section 110 was included in the 1996 Act because a comprehensive and efficient entry-exit system is vital for our national security. Without such a system, our government has no idea of who is coming to the United States and whether they leave when they are supposed to do so. It is particularly important that the United States protect its citizens from terrorism and drug smuggling.
Recently, terrorism and drug smuggling had illuminated the debate about entry-exit controls at America's borders. An open border is an open invitation to terrorists, drug smugglers, and illegal aliens. USA Today reported this week in a story about the northern border ''several recent arrests have brought home the possibility that terrorists are establishing themselves in Canada because of that government's easy-going attitude toward asylum then slipping into the U.S.A. And, although the northern boundary remains far less violent than the U.S.-Mexico border, there has been an upswing in alien smuggling and drug crimes. The border patrol apprehended almost twice as many illegal aliens in 1997 than in 1988, and marijuana confiscation jumped 87 percent just from 1996 to 1997.''
Americans and Canadians both have reason to be alarmed if they may become the victims of terrorism and drug crimes. The question is not whether we face a threat at our borders, but when tragedy may strike and what we're going to do about it. In addition to minimizing these threats, an entry-exit system is the only effective method available to combat visa overstaying.
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Visa overstayers make up over 40 percent of our population of illegal aliens. Currently, there is no deterrent for overstayers because they know there is little likelihood the government will learn of the fact they have overstayed. Section 110 will correct these problems. I'm convinced that section 110 can be implemented in a manner that will not have an adverse impact on trade, tourism, or other legitimate traffic along our land borders. The technology to be discussed today, will provide the INS with the ability to quickly conduct inspections at land borders while maintaining the integrity of our country's immigration laws.
The use of technology at both entry and exit will both facilitate legitimate traffic and enhance our national security by aiding in the apprehension of criminals and terrorists as well as by deterring visa overstayers. Today, we will learn more about the technological options available to INS. In this information age, we need to insure that the INS implements section 110 in a forward-looking manner. At today's hearing, we will hear from some of the country's leading information technology companies, and some of the government agencies that use their technology.
By taking advantage of the expertise of today's witnesses, we will be able to better understand the different technologies that exist and how they could be used to implement section 110 at the land borders.
The gentlemen from North Carolina, Mr. Watt, is recognized for his opening statement.
Mr. WATT. Mr. Chairman, I'm perfectly happy to suspend while we have a reporting quorum here so we can get these bills reported, if you want to do that.
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Mr. SMITH. That is a good suggestion.
Mr. CONYERS. That is an excellent suggestion.
[Whereupon, the subcommittee proceeded to other business.]
Mr. SMITH. The gentleman from North Carolina would like to yield his time to the gentleman from Michigan
Mr. WATT. Yes.
Mr. SMITH [continuing]. Mr. Conyers. And the gentleman is recognized for the purposes of making an opening statement.
Mr. WATT. I'd like to have him go first.
Mr. SMITH. I understand. I understand.
Mr. CONYERS. Is that because of my seniority or because of the power and persuasiveness of my statement?
Mr. WATT. It's because of the power and persuasiveness of your statement[Laughter.]
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC your seniority, and the fact that you told me you needed to be somewhere else.[Laughter.]
Mr. CONYERS. Okay.
Mr. WATT. All three things, not necessarily in that order.
Mr. CONYERS. Okay. All right. Okay, folks now, let's all have a good hearing here.
I'm the only member from the northern border States between Canada and the United States and I'm here to try to find out if there's any way we can make the technological options work. That's what the hearing is about. And what section 110 does is require entry and departure records for every alien who comes to the United States for a temporary purpose.
The U.S.'s trade with Canada is $355 billion, the largest exchange between any two countries on the planet earth. Now of that figure $57 billion worth of goods were traded with Michigan giving it a larger share of trade with Canada than any other State in our Union. And so, unless we can all come to an understanding that the implementation of section 110 can occur quickly, it's not hard to see what kind of trade implication could be jeopardized.
So, I want to hear the testimony on the technology options and I'm concerned as much as anybody here about the potential for the problems of drugs, number one, the scourge of our Nation. And I want to find out if there's any system that can be put in place in time for this law to go into effect.
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We'll learn whether their feasibility studies determining whether such devices can perform these entry-exit checks in a sufficiently, proper manner. And so, there are some other things that I'll be watching for, but I just want to impress upon all of the members here that we've got to do these things in real time. This isn't a kind of a high-tech game that we see if it will work and keep your fingers crossed guys, and if we land, it will be really wonderful, and if we don't, we'll blow a major part of the economy. Oops! I'm sorry, that's the way it goes. It didn't do what they say it would.
So' I'll submit the rest of my statement and thank you for allowing me to go first.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Conyers follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN CONYERS, JR., A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MICHIGAN
Section 110 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 requires the INS to make entry and departure records for every alien who comes to the United States for a temporary purpose. No Member is more concerned about this issue than I am. We can see Windsor, Canada from my district. Last year U.S. trade with Canada was over 355 billion dollars making it the largest exchange between any two countries in the world. Of that figure 57 billion dollars worth of goods were traded with Michigangiving it a larger share of trade with Canada than any other state. Unless we get a handle on the implementation of section I 10 quickly, I'm afraid much of this trade could be jeopardized.
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Today we are going to hear testimony on the technological options that are available to implement section 110. This will include such devices as smart cards, proximity cards, magnetic cards, electronic and radio frequency transponders and biometric systems. I am concerned about the potential for fraud and invasion of privacy that such devices create. How can an immigration officer be sure that a card is valid,, that the information on it is authentic, or that the alien
using it is the person to whom it was issued?
I am also concerned about the absence of feasibility studies for determining whether such devices will perform the entry-exit checks well enough to justify their use. I do not want to spend enormous amounts of money on this project only to discover that the system that has been selected won't perform the entry-exit checks effectively or in a reasonable amount of time or that it is prohibitively expensive to use.
In the absence of adequate feasibility studies, we have to anticipate a negative impact on the U.S. economy from additional delays and back-ups at already congested land and sea ports of entry when section I 10 is implemented. With billions of dollars in goods crossing our borders every day, this congestion could have a devastating impact on U.S. trade, discourage incoming tourism, and have a serious impact on U.S. jobs, communities, and the economy as a whole.
One supposed rationale for such a system is to curb the problem of visitors who overstay their visas, but at best it would just produce a data bank of nonimmigrant overstays. The system would not provide information about where 3 any aliens can be found when it is discovered that they overstayed their visits, and it wouldn't lead. to any apprehensions or removals.
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The massive congestion problems would also discourage Canadians and Mexicans from coming to the U.S. border communities and contributing to the local economies. The long line-ups of idling car and trucks would also cause serious environmental problems for these communities.
So clearly section 110 poses some very serious risks to the U.S. in general and the State of Michigan in particular. In my view, it is preferable that we eliminate the dangerous section 110 requirement until we are sure that we have the technology to safely and efficiently implement a border check system. We should ''look before we leap.''
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Congressman.
We do appreciate the presence of the ranking member of the full committee, too.
Mr. Gallegly, do you have an opening statement?
Mr. GALLEGLY. I have nothing.
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Watt.
Mr. WATT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I'm actually very happy that we passed over myself and went to Mr. Conyers because I think the members of the committee and the public can start to see some of the serious issues that we are dealing with in this hearing.
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Section 110 of the immigration law that we passed a couple of years ago requires the attorney general to develop an automated exit control system that will collect a record of departure of every alien departing the United States and match the records of departure with the records of aliens arriving in the United States and it requires to be done by October 1, of 1998. That's not very far away.
The problem is this: We have a process for checking everybody who comes across the southern border, the southwestern border of the United States, into the country. No such process exists on the Canadian border. So the very same issues that Mr. Conyers has described as being a problem on the Canadian border also exists on the Mexican border. And somehow or another, we have decided that, as a matter of immigration policy, we'll have a different set of rules for Canadians than we have for Mexicansa very difficult issue. The trade issues are extremely important, but the policy issues and consistency issues are extremely important also. And if you close off one border and you deal with one border, experience is now showing that even if the assumptions you made that all of the problems with immigration were coming across only one of your borders, if you treat that border differently than you treat your other borders, then people will just go around and come in a different way.
The second issue is we have a visa-waiver pilot program that country's qualify for now based on whether they grant or deny visas. The percentage of grants and denials, an irrational basis when the objective ought to be to identify people who overstay their visas and don't return after they get a visa. That's who ought to be rewarded by getting into a waiver program.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So, we need a system of checking-in's and -out's to determine who should, what countries, what to qualify to be in the visa-waiver program. Right now, we have essentially had a policy that European countries can kind of come in, but everybody else that don't kind of look ''American,'' so to speak, there's a whole different standard that is at place.
So there's some things here that we really need to be cognizant of as we approach this issue. And both the chairman and I have been saying all along a much more rational basis on which to have a visa-waiver pilot program is visa overstays, but if we can't measure visa overstays, then we can't have a system that has integrity. And the chairman and I have been saying that, in order to do that, we got to have consistent rules at the southern border, as well as at the northern border. And that's what this process is all about.
It is not designed to discriminate against Canada or Mexico, or favor Canada or Mexico. It's trying to get to a consistent set of procedures and rules that will allow people to come to the country and leave the country when they are supposed to because I will just tell you that right now our records suggests that there are at least 120,000 Canadians working illegally in the United States and not a single one of these people entered the country illegally. They just overstayed after they got here. And if that's not acceptable for Mexicans who enter the United States, then it can't be acceptable for Canadians who enter the United States. And we've got to have some rules that establish a level of consistency.
This is a very difficult issue. We need this hearing to prod the Attorney General to give us the current information on where we are on getting to a system, and maybe it will stimulate some other related debates also which need to be put on the top of the table and discussed in an open fashion.
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Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Watt.
Are there any other opening statements?
If not, we will welcome the first witness, Mr. Michael Hrinyak, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Inspections, Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Mr. Hrinyak, if you will come forward? We're looking forward to your testimony.
Mr. WATT. Mr. Chairman, before he starts, could I ask unanimous consent? You've referenced a newspaper article in your opening statement and, in fairness, I have a copy of that newspaper article and a copy of a letter to the editor from the Canadian Ambassador, both of which I think ought to be made a part of the record, so that we get both sides of it.
Mr. SMITH. I agree, and without objection, both articles will be made a part of the record.
Mr. Hrinyak, if you will proceed.
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[The information referred to follows:]
|501 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW |
|Washington, DC, July 22, 1998|
1000 Wilson Boulevard
Your July 21 cover story, ''Northern Exposure; Crime finds home on U.S.-Canada border'' contains inaccuracies, misleading statements and allegations that are just ''dead wrong''.
The United States holds no monopoly on challenges at its borders by drug dealers, terrorists and illegal immigrants. Canada is every bit as concerned about the movement of illegal goods and people into Canada from the United States as the United States is about their movement into the U.S. from Canada.
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According to U.S. law enforcement sources, far more illegal drugs flow into Canada from the U.S. than the reverse. Terrorists also move in both directions. For example, your reference to the Hani Abdel Rahim Sayegh case makes no mention of the fact that he first arrived in North America at Boston's Logan airport, from which he proceeded to Canada and apprehension. And your discussion of Canada's refugee policy similarly ignores the fact that in 1997 32 per cent of refugee claimants in Canada entered via the United States.
Canada shares U.S. goals with respect to drug smuggling, terrorism and illegal immigration. Our two countries enjoy a truly exceptional level of cooperation in each of these areas. This is reflected in the fact that, through computer interfaces, law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border have immediate, direct and constant access to the criminal databases of their colleagues on the other side.
The entry-exit control system championed by Congressman Smith is not the answer. Such a system would be of no use in preventing the movement of terrorists or drug smugglers. It would neither improve the quantity nor the quality of the intelligence available on these people, nor would it help officials stop them at visa offices and border crossing points. It would not even be of any use in preventing the movement of illegal immigrants because it would only produce better statistics, not apprehensions and removals.
The answer is enhanced cooperation between U.S. and Canadian law enforcement agencies in combatting the movement of illegal drugs and drug traffickers, terrorists and illegal immigrants in both directions. This is already happening. Attorney General Reno and Canada's Solicitor General and Minister for Citizenship and Immigration are working closely together, through mechanisms like the Canada-U.S. Cross-Border Crime Forum and by instructing their officials to move toward the implementation of a regional security concept.
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The free movement of people, goods and services between our two countries is essential to the prosperity of both. Our bilateral trade now tops $1 billion a day and supports millions of jobs on both sides of the border. There is every reason to expect this dynamism to expand, but only if we take stock of the challenges our two countries face and create a truly efficient and secure border.
|Raymond Chréftien, Ambassador|
STATEMENT OF MICHAEL HRINYAK, DEPUTY ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER FOR INSPECTIONS, IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE
Mr. HRINYAK. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I welcome this opportunity to testify on the progress the Immigration and Naturalization Service has made for developing the entry-exit control information system
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Hrinyak, could you pull that microphone a little bit closer to you?
Mr. HRINYAK. A little closer?
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. Yes.
Mr. HRINYAK. Is this better? Can you hear me now?
Mr. SMITH. Yes.
Mr. HRINYAK [continuing]. The information system as required by section 110 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. I will first describe the current inspection process and the technology employed to support that process. I will then discuss alternative technologies being explored to both improve the current process as well as those which INS believes may facilitate the automated collection of information as required by section 110.
As you may be aware, the administration has proposed that the current law be modified to eliminate the requirement for the establishment of an automated entry-exit control system for land borders and seaports, and instead require a study of the feasibility of implementing such a system at the land and sea borders.
To fully appreciate the magnitude of the task before INS, and the technological challenge presented, it is important to understand the current environment and processes, both in terms of gross numbers, and how the processes are now structured.
In Fiscal Year 1997, approximately one-half billion entries were made into the United States. The vast majority of these entries were made at our land border ports-of-entry. Each of these entries is important to the traveler and to INS. Each inspection must be carried out in a rapid, professional manner.
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For travelers in private vehicles, the inspection begins with the inspector entering the vehicle's license plate number into the Interagency Border Inspection System to determine if there are any agencies' lookout notices posted against the vehicle or the vehicle's owner of record. I should note that this differs from the process at airports where an individual's name is searched against IBIS. Once the computer check is completed, the inspecting officer will ask a brief series of questions to determine the applicant's citizenship, and if necessary, the purpose of trip, the anticipated length of stay in the United States, and whether there are any dutiable items to declare.
On the southern border, the inspecting officer will also ask the applicant, if he or she is an alien, for appropriate documentation. On the northern border, the inspecting officer may ask for documentation if it is not clear the alien is a Canadian citizen. At most locations, this entire process takes less than a minute. The only record of the inspection normally maintained is the IBIS system record. This record does not meet the requirements of section 110.
Travelers who enter on foot or by some other means where there is no vehicle license plate which can be used to query against the IBIS database undergo a simple, low-tech inspection. The inspecting officer will ask a series of questions to determine the admissibility of the applicant, and whether there are any dutiable items to declare. On the southern border, the inspecting officer will also review documentation of aliens seeking admission. Ordinarily, no record is made of the entry, and no computer databases are checked.
The INS has been exploring how technology can be applied to the inspection process both to better manage the movement of traffic at land borders and better determine who is admissible to the United States.
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I will try to keep my comments brief as I describe these initiatives.
SENTRI, the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers' Rapid Inspection, SENTRI pilot, is a interagency initiative designed to facilitate the flow of traffic and trade while maintaining the integrity of the inspections process. Vehicles and the individuals who will use these vehicles are pre-screened and enrolled in the program by INS and the United States Customs Service.
When crossing the international border, they travel over a lane dedicated to their exclusive use. As these vehicles approach the border, an automated system reviews IBIS and other records relating to the vehicle and its occupant. Photographs of the participants associated with a particular vehicle are displayed on a screen and the officer may make a visual comparison of the vehicle's occupant and the pre-registered participant. To facilitate this record check, the vehicle is equipped with a transponder which transmits a unique signal to a receiver, which in turn initiates the record search. A record of the entry is also made automatically by the system. This record could be modified to meet the requirements of section 110.
INSPASS, the INS Passenger Accelerated Service System is a pilot program which was developed for deployment at airports to expedite the inspection of travelers. It is now being tested at Hildalgo, Texas. Like SENTRI, INSPASS provides an opportunity for those individuals who have been pre-screened and enrolled to take advantage of an alternative inspections process. INSPASS, however, differs in one significant way. A biometric, hand geometry, is recorded for each pre-screened enrollee and that biometric is verified upon every entry.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC A typical INSPASS inspection takes less than 30 seconds. The system automatically records information regarding the entry and could be modified to meet the requirements of section 110.
Preliminary results from Hildalgo indicate the concept of an INSPASS-type automated inspection on the land border is sound. However, participation in this voluntary program has been disappointing. While the pilot is still being reviewed to determine why it has not been more widely accepted, it is believed that the additional time required to perform the individual IBIS record check and confirm the identity of the applicant through the biometric comparison offers no advantage to the traveler vis-a-vis the current process.
The Automated Permit Port process. To better address the needs of border crosses who live in remote locations where ports-of-entry may have limited hours of operation, INS developed the Automated Permit Port process. This process is being tested in Scobey, Montana. It relies on a pre-screened enrolled population of users and a biometric verification to confirm identity. In this instance, the biometric is voice recognition. If a match is made, the applicant is admitted without the intervention of an officer and record is made of the entry. The record could be modified to meet the requirements of section 110.
RVIS, another system being tested to better serve residents in remote locations where ports-of-entry may have limited hours of operation is the Remote Video Inspection System. This approach relies upon a group of video cameras and an interactive voice system to monitor an unstaffed location from a staffed location. During the test period, a pre-screened enrolled traveler may activate the system through the use of a PORTPASS card which is provided for them by INS. RVIS creates a record of the entry which could be modified to meet the requirements of section 110.
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The INS has been actively exploring new technology to improve the current process. None of the alternatives approached was considered to fully meet the demands of section 110 on the land border where the need to continue to facilitate the movement of large numbers of a people across the border is a concern. All of these test programs have focused on small populations of self-selected, pre-enrolled travelers. Another concern was that many of the new processes being tested provide information regarding entry, but none of them have been used to gather information on departures. To gather better data, the Service determined the best approach would be to test selected technologies in a port-of-entry like setting under controlled circumstances and then use this data to simulate what would happen if the new process were to be implemented.
The test site chosen to examine additional technologies is the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia. And we have a picture there of what the mock port-of-entry in Glynco looks like. It essentially mimics a standard port-of-entry. A small one, but the essential features are the same.
The test will consist of a comparison of existing machine-readable documents and a new generation of documents with radio-frequency tagents not unlike the technology used for SENTRI. The objective of the test will be to gather reliable data on the speed and accuracy of information collection using alternative technologies and to determine whether routine checks against IBIS can be incorporated into the process.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The INS documents being tested have machine-readable zones, like many other documents, including U.S. and Canadian passports which frequent border crossers may carry. It is anticipated that very good information will be generated during the test to indicate how much additional time, if any, will be added to the inspection process if such documents were to be used in the future to meet the requirements of section 110.
In addition to looking at current machine-readable documents, two types of radio-frequency tagent enabled documents will be tested, with the difference in the two, essentially, being the range at which they can be read. The objective of this series of tests, like the first, will be to determine the speed and accuracy with which information can be collected.
The INS will also solicit public comments and suggestions regarding new technologies which might be used to meet the demands of section 110 through notices in the Federal Register and Commerce Business Daily.
The administration continues to move ahead to develop and entry-exit system as required by section 110, however, we do so with particular concern for the logistics and costs associated with modifying or rebuilding border ports-of-entry, and possible delays for the traveling public. These concerns have caused us to develop an approach which will enable us to test alternative technologies and to use computer simulation to project outcomes so we can better determine how to meet the requirements of section 110.
This concludes my testimony. I would be happy to answer questions.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [The prepared statement of Mr. Hrinyak follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF MICHAEL HRINYAK, DEPUTY ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER FOR INSPECTIONS, IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, I welcome this opportunity to testify on the progress the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has made towards developing the entry-exit control information system as required by Section 110 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA). In particular I will be addressing the steps which the INS has made towards identifying appropriate technologies to employ in land border inspection settings. I will first describe the current inspection process and the technology employed to support that process. I will then discuss alternative technologies being explored to both improve the current process, as well as those which INS believes may facilitate the automated collection of the information required by Section 110.
As you may be aware, the Administration has proposed that the current law be modified to eliminate the requirement for the establishment of an automated entry-exit control system for land borders and seaports and instead require a study of the feasibility of implementing such a system at the land and sea borders. This would not delay the implementation of Section 110 at airports, where INS intents to continue working towards an entry-exit control system in a careful and deliberate manner.
THE CURRENT PROCESS
To fully appreciate the magnitude of the challenge before the INS, and the technological challenge presented, it is important to understand the current environment and processes, both in terms of gross numbers, and how the process is now structured. In fiscal year 1997 approximately 500,000,000 entries, yes, approximately one half billion, were made into the United States. The vast majority of these entries were made at our land border ports of entry, with 423,066,896 U.S. citizens, visitors, and business travelers entering, and departing, from the United States in fiscal year 1997. Roughly one third of these trips were made by citizens and the remainder by aliens (279,224,152). If we compare the entries made on the northern and southern land borders, approximately 72% of the entries were made at ports-of-entry on the southern land border or 304,381,632 entries and the remainder, 118,685,264, on the northern land border.
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Each of these entries is important to the traveler and to INS. Each inspection must be carried out in a rapid professional manner regardless of the means of travel, location, physical conditions, or time of day. The borders of the United States are always open to visitors and the INS must always be ready to welcome them.
For travelers in private vehicles such as cars, vans and the like, the inspection begins with the inspector entering the vehicle's license plate number into the Interagency Border Inspection System (IBIS) to determine if there are any agencies' lookout notices posted against the vehicle or the vehicle's owner of record. I should note that this differs from the process at airports where an individual's name is searched against IBIS. Once the computer check is completed the inspecting officer will ask a brief series of questions to determine the applicants citizenship, and if necessary, purpose of the trip, anticipated length of stay in the United States and whether there are any dutiable items to declare. On the southern border the inspecting officer will ask the applicant, if he or she is an alien, for appropriate documentation. On the northern border the inspecting officer may ask for documentation if it is not clear that the alien is a Canadian citizen. If the inspecting officer determines the applicant is admissible the inspection then ends and the person is allowed to enter the United States. At most locations this entire process takes approximately a minute. The only record of the inspection normally maintained is the IBIS system record showing the date, time, lane number, inspector and license plate number. This record does not meet the requirements of Section 110 since it reflects only that a vehicle entered the United States and reveals nothing about the individuals who may have been in the vehicle.
At almost all land border locations, travelers who seek to enter on foot, or by bicycle, or bus, or by some other means where there is no vehicle license plate which can be used to query against the IBIS database, the inspection process is relatively simple, straight forward and low tech. The inspecting officer will ask a series of questions to determine the admissibility of the applicant, including citizenship, in the case of aliens, the purpose of the trip, and whether there are any dutiable items to declare. On the southern border the inspecting officer will also review documentation of aliens seeking admission. On the northern border, if the applicant indicates that he or she is not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, or if the inspector determines it is necessary to verify citizenship, documentation will be reviewed. If the inspecting officer determines the applicant is admissible the inspection then ends and the person is allowed to enter the United States. The entire process takes less than a minute. No record is made of the entry and no computer databases are checked.
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TECHNOLOGY AND THE INSPECTION PROCESS
The INS has been exploring how technology can be applied to the inspection process both to better manage the movement of traffic at land borders and to better determine who is admissible to the United States. Many of these initiatives have been discussed before so I will try to keep my comments brief as I describe these initiatives, including the SENTRI project, and various alternative inspection systems including the INSPASS system and Automated Permit Port pilot.
The Secure Electronic Network for Travelers' Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) pilot program is an interagency initiative designed to facilitate the flow of traffic and trade while maintaining the integrity of the inspection process. Under this pilot, vehicles, and the individuals who will use the vehicles, are pre-screened and enrolled in the program by the INS and the United States Customs Service (USCS). When crossing the international border they then travel over a traffic lane dedicated to the exclusive use of the participants in the project. As these vehicles approach the border, an automated system reviews IBIS and other records relating to the vehicle and its occupants to ensure that they are enrolled in the program and have met the requirements for entry into the United States. Inspecting officers do not actively conduct an inspection of SENTRI participants on the primary lane; however, as part of the automated process the photographs of the participants associated with a particular vehicle are displayed on a screen and the officer may make a visual comparison of the vehicles occupants and the pre-registered participants. To facilitate this record review vehicles are equipped with a transponder which transmits a unique signal to a receiver, which in turn initiates the record search. A record of the entry is also made automatically by the system. This record could be modified to meet the requirements of Section 110.
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The INS Passenger Accelerated Service System (INSPASS) is a pilot program which was developed for deployment at airports to expedite the inspection of travelers. It is now being tested at Hildalgo, TX to determine whether it can accomplish the same objective in a land border environment. Like SENTRI, INSPASS provides an opportunity for those individuals who have been pre-screened and enrolled to take advantage of an alternative inspection process. INSPASS, however, differs in one significant way. A biometric, hand geometry, is recorded for each pre-screened enrollee and that biometric is verified upon each entry. This is accomplished when the applicant inserts his or her PORTPASS card, which has identifying data encoded, into a card reader and then places his or her hand on a hand geometry reader. An IBIS data base check is also initiated when the PORTPASS card is inserted into the reader. If both are positive, that is, if identity is confirmed through the biometric comparison and there is no adverse information regarding the applicant in IBIS, the inspection is completed automatically without the intervention of an inspecting officer. A typical INSPASS inspection takes less than 30 seconds. The system automatically records information regarding the entry and could be modified to meet the requirements of Section 110.
Preliminary results from the Hildalgo test indicate that the concept of an INSPASS type automated inspection on the land border is sound. The equipment has functioned as anticipated and response times are comparable to those at airport locations. Participation in this voluntary program, however, has been disappointing. While the pilot is still being reviewed to determine why it has not been more widely accepted it is believed that the additional time required to perform the individual IBIS record check and confirm the identity of the applicant through the biometric comparison off no advantage to the traveler vis-a-vis the current process.
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To better address the needs of border crosses who live in remote locations where ports-of-entry may have limited hours of operation the INS developed the Automated Permit Port (APP) process. This process is being tested in Scobey, MT and, like the INSPASS system, it relies on a pre-screened enrolled population of users and a biometric verification to confirm the identity of the applicant for admission. In this instance the biometric used is voice recognition. An enrolled applicant who seeks admission at Scobey after normal port hours enters a pre-assigned Personal Identification Number (PIN) into a kiosk at the port. This prompts the system to call up the individual's record. The applicant then recites a pre-determined phrase into a telephone receiver at the kiosk and the system compares the stored record and the phrase being recited to confirm identity. If a match is made the applicant is admitted without the intervention of an officer and a record is made of the entry. This record could be modified to meet the requirements of Section 110.
Another system being tested to better serve residents in remote locations where port-of-entry may have limited hours of operation is the Remote Video Inspection System (RVIS). This approach relies upon a group of video cameras and an interactive voice system to monitor an unstaffed location from a staffed location. During the test period pre-screened enrolled travelers may activate the system through the use of a PORTPASS card which is provided to them by INS. This card is placed into a card reader which calls a record up on the system displaying the enrollees photographic image at the staffed monitoring location. The inspecting officer can then compare this to the live video image, ask questions if necessary, and view the car, its occupants and the contents of the car, and then admit the applicant. At some locations RVIS is being tested in conjunction with automated license plate readers which will perform an IBIS check while the inspector is viewing the video and alert the inspecting officer if there have been changes in the status of the applicant or concerns about the vehicle entered into the system since enrollment. RVIS creates a record of the entry which could be modified to meet the requirements of Section 110.
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TECHNOLOGY AND SECTION 110
As can be seen, the INS has been actively exploring new technology to improve the current process. None of the alternatives approached was considered to fully meet the demands of Section 110 on the land border, where the need to continue to facilitate the movement across the border is always a concern. The information requirements of Section 110 only added a new dimension to our efforts for ongoing process improvement, one which has called for a new innovative approach. Another concern was that many of the new processes being tested provide information regarding entry but none of them have been used to gather information on departures. Additionally, all of these test programs have focused on small populations of self-selected pre-enrolled travelers. It is difficult to extrapolate from these groups to make decisions about how particular changes will affect all land border crosses. To gather better data the Service determined that the best approach would be to test selected technologies in a port-of entry like setting under controlled circumstances and then to use this data to simulate what would happen if the new processes were to be implemented as standard operating procedures on the northern and southern land borders.
The test site chosen to examine additional technologies is the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, GA. Testing will occur during the summer and an analysis of the results, including computer simulations to project what would happen if the new processes were introduced, will be begin in September. The actual test will consist of a comparison of existing machine readable documents, including the INS issued border crossing card and permanent resident card, and a new generation of documents with radio-frequency tagents not unlike the technology used by SENTRI. The objective of the test will be to gather reliable data on the speed and accuracy of information collection using alternative technologies and to determine whether routine checks against IBIS can be incorporated into the process.
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The INS documents being tested have machine readable zones, like many other documents, including U.S. and Canadian passports, which frequent border crossers may carry. These documents have generally not been ''read'' in land border settings during primary inspection; however, they are ''read'' in airport settings. It is anticipated that very good information will be generated during the test to indicate how much additional time, if any, will be added to the inspection process if such documents were to be used in the future to meet the requirements of Section 110.
In addition to looking at current machine readable documents, two types of radio- frequency tagent enabled documents will be tested, with the difference in the two essentially being the range at which they can be passively read. The objective of this series of tests, like the first, will be to determine the speed and accuracy with which information can be collected.
The results of these tests will permit the INS to better understand how collecting the information required by Section 110 will affect land border inspection processes, and most particularly the affect of any changes on estimated waiting times. This will be done through a series of computer simulations in which the data obtained during the tests at Glynco will be used by the INS to project the anticipated impact of the changed processes on waiting times, staffing and other areas of concern using a proven computer modeling tool - the same tool now used to project staffing needs at our ports-of-entry.
The INS will also solicit public comments and suggestions regarding new technologies which might be used to meet the demands of Section 110 through notices in the Federal Register and the Commerce Business Daily. If significantly new or different technologies or approaches are suggested they too will be tested at the Glynco facility.
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At this time, INS has not determined the budget implications for full implementation of Section 110 at land, air, and sea ports-of-entry. In FY 1998, INS has invested $12.9 million for the entry-exit control system at 11 airports. In FY 1999, INS has requested an increase of $19.5 million for the automation and positions necessary for further expansion of this project to additional airline carriers and airports.
The Administration continues to move ahead to develop an entry-exit system as required by Section 110, however, we do so with particular concern for the logistics and costs associated with modifying or rebuilding land border ports-of-entry, and possible delays for the traveling public. These concerns have caused us to develop an approach which will enable us to test alternative technologies and to use computer simulation to project outcomes so that we can better determine how to meet the requirements of Section 110.
This concludes my testimony. I would be glad to respond to any questions which you may have.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Hrinyak.
First, let me compliment the INS. It seems to me that they are making a good-faith effort to try to experiment with various technologies in various locations. And it seems to me clear that we are making progress in our effort to both facilitate admissions and also aid law enforcement along the northern border. So I think that that is all encouraging.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC You heard me say a few minutes ago that one of the concerns I have is the fact that both the amount of drugs seized on the northern border and the number of illegal aliens apprehended on the northern border has been increasing for obvious reasons, as we are more successful on the southern border, an open border is an open invitation to terrorists, and drug smugglers, and illegal aliens.
And let me also add that I had an unsolicited call from a friend of mine just this weekmaybe it was the day before yesterdaywho said she was coming back across our northern border in a rented car and was not asked for any documentation to prove who she was or why she was coming to the United States. And her concern was, ''I could have had a trunk full of drugs, and no one would have known.'' And I would assume that the Canadians, our friends to the north, would have the same concerns. And, in fact, it wouldn't surprise me if there's more drugs going that way than the reverse.
So I assume it's of concern to citizens of both countries that we try to deter, whether it be drug smugglers, or illegal aliens, or terrorists, or whoever, are not coming forlegitimate reasons.
My question to you is how would the INS today be able to determine whether someone entering the country had a criminal background, or whether they were an illegal alien who had previously been deported, or whether they, in fact, were part of a drug cartel?
Mr. HRINYAK. As I noted in my testimony, on the land borders our primary look-out queries are based on license plates. That is
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. So someone like I just described who called me this week who had a rented car, that wouldn't serve much of a purpose?
Mr. HRINYAK. That would not. That's why it's complemented by extensive training of inspectors. They are expected to ask a series of questions which would give them some foundation to make a decision as to whether the person was admissible or whether they should be referred to a secondary area for additional questions. In this instance, I don't know if the inspector was immediately convinced that your friend was a U.S. citizen or somebody else who did not require additional inspection. But we expect our inspectors to use training and experience to make determinations on admissibilitythey're trained to follow a line of questioning and to make observation of the body movements, nervousness, other signs that would cause us to have a reason to continue the line of questioning.
Mr. SMITH. All of which is pretty subjective?
Mr. HRINYAK. To a large degree it is subjective, but it has a scientific foundation.
Mr. SMITH. As far as who you're looking for or mannerisms or whatever it might be?
Mr. HRINYAK. Signs of nervousness.
Mr. SMITH. I guess what I'm getting at, clearly, that is not as effective as what we do on our southern border, or if we were actually checking beyond just what someone looked like or their license plates.
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Mr. HRINYAK. It's not as complete an inspection as an airport inspection or one along the southern border.
Mr. SMITH. You mentioned that the INS is testing what's called ''INSPASS'' in Hidalgo, Texas to determine whether it can actually expedite the inspection of travelers at land borders. The preliminary reports, as I understand it, are that it can, in fact, expedite the process at land borders. My question is when do you expect the INS to make its final determination and to come up with its conclusions in regard to the INSPASS system?
Mr. HRINYAK. We are looking at our results right now. We hope to have someexcuse me for a minute.
Mr. SMITH. Would you like a glass of water?
Mr. HRINYAK. I think I do need something. You'll have to forgive me. I've been trying to fight a summer cold for 2 weeks.
Mr. SMITH. Well, we appreciate all the more your being here.
Mr. HRINYAK. But we're looking at the Hidalgo pilot right now. We're hoping to complete our analysis by the end of this Fiscal Year. It's not that conceptually it doesn't work, it's that, as I noted, vis-a-vis the current process, even 30 seconds for a pedestrian, who in the past may have been inspected in 5 seconds appears to be too long. It's a voluntary program and that additional time is not a good selling point to our target population.
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Mr. SMITH. And you also mentioned a while ago voluntary participation has not been what was expected either.
Let me make a last point and then turn to Mr. Watt. I know we're going to hear a little bit later from some of the next panelists, something that's very intriguing to me. My goal is, of course, not to impede trade or traffic, but beyond that I'd like to actually to see if there is a way to expedite it. And I'm not an expert on this subject, but I have been told that, I don't know whether it's called a ''smart card'' or something else right, but, for example, on the Canadian border, as I understand it, everybody is at least stopped momentarily and they're asked a couple of questions, ''Why are you coming?'' ''Are you a citizen?'' And that takes a little bit of time.
My understanding is that smart cards, or their equivalent today, have just in the last year or two been developed to the point where not only does someone not have to slow down to one or two miles an hour, they can now slow down to only 30 miles an hour. And it seems to me that allowing someone with a card on their windshield, for example, to pass a border checkpoint at 30 miles per hour is certainly quicker than stopping them and asking them a couple of questions.
So, again, my hope is that with the technology that's available, and that you're familiar with, I know that we can actually expedite the process too.
Do you want to comment on that?
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HRINYAK. Yes, I do. As you're aware, and as I mentioned, we're using a radio frequency tag in our SENTRI program. The INS continues to explore all technological alternatives, including the smart card. It is one of the technologies we're looking at in Glynco, and we are not going to preclude at any point any technology or combination of technologies. We're encouraged by the potential but it's premature whether to say this is a solution. It may be part of the solution.
Mr. SMITH. As you just said, I, too, am encouraged by the potential because as I say I think we have the same goals which is a combination of law enforcement and also expediting the process too.
I mentioned a while ago about that one example that I gave where we could speed things up. Let me give you another example. I know that on our southern border, we have the border crossing cards. They're good for 10 years. My quick guess is that if you were to ask a citizen of Canada or a citizen of the United States if they'd be willing to go through the process of applying for some card that allowed them quicker admission than they currently have and it lasted for 10 years, and it might help deter the flow of drugs into their country, either the United States or Canada, that I think that 99 percent of our citizens that are civic-minded would be happy to go through that process. That's just a commentary.
Thank you, Mr. Hrinyak, for your testimony.
Mr. Watt is recognized. Oh, excuse me, the gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Conyers, is recognized.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. CONYERS. Thank you, Chairman Smith. And thanks for letting me go first, Mel.
Mr. Chairman, just before we question our witness, they're going to be more hearings on this?
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Conyers, none are scheduled at this point but it's entirely possible that we would have. Let me say that I'm hoping that the Senate will follow the lead of the House and postpone the implementation for 1 year which would give us time for additional hearings.
Mr. CONYERS. Well, I thought the Senate was postponing[Laughter.]
Mr. SMITH. Well, the House has passed a bill that did two things. One, it postponed the implementation for 1 year, but it also included the language that any system will not impede trade or traffic. So I do not think that, in my opinion, that we are ready to implement the system by October 1, but I think if we maintain a deadline and give ourselves another year to explore the technology that that will be beneficial. And during that time I wouldn't be at all surprised, and, in fact, I would expect that we would have another hearing.
Mr. CONYERS. Okay, well, that brings the cholesterol level down somewhat in the room. I'm happy to hear that. [Laughter.]
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The reason I raise this before questioning the witness is that if this is the only hearing we're going to hear, my dear chairman, we're hearing from the vendors of the technology which is wonderful.
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Conyers, we will have another hearing.
Mr. CONYERS. Oh, now progress is noted. [Laughter.]
Mr. SMITH. I expected to, but let me assure you I can't imagine that we wouldn't.
Mr. CONYERS. Because there are other people with technical expertise that want to weigh in on it besides the people that are selling us the product which I'm happy for. I congratulate them. I know they're great business people. They're technology experts like none we've ever seen before. I wish them well. But there are some other people that know about this subject. And I would like us not to prematurely close off the discussion before all of them have been heard. So now we've got an understanding.
Now, Mr. Hrinyak, we're not going to keep you long. What do you know about this technology really?
Mr. HRINYAK. Do you mean
Mr. CONYERS. Yes, I mean what do you know about this stuff?
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HRINYAK. I know that it works at Otay Mesa SENTRI. It has speeded the flow of traffic. I know that the INSPASS process works in the airport setting, it has actually speeded the flow of traffic. I know that the land border setting is very different and it offers different challenges and that's why we are testing and examining.
Mr. CONYERS. Well, my friend the reason I ask that is that you haven't made any commitment as to the time that may be utilized, the money that maybe it cost, and I don't blame you. That's not critical. I can't do it either and I don't have anybody that can. So let's all be friends here. I don't know anything about the technology. Do you know that much about it? I mean could you take a test on this stuff?
Mr. HRINYAK. Unfortunately, I think I could. [Laughter.]
Mr. CONYERS. Well, then I think you should take a test on it, and since you think you could pass it, right? Okay, have you been to Glynco, Georgia?
Mr. HRINYAK. Yes.
Mr. CONYERS. Okay. You've been to Scobey, Montana?
Mr. HRINYAK. I went to the first site proposed, DelBonita, Montana. I haven't been to Scoby. And I worked with the technology at DelBonita. That was the original pilot site.
Mr. CONYERS. Okay, well, we've had a number of pages of testimony here. Let's get down to the issue. We need youryou represent the government like I do. We're not partial. We're trying to do the right thing for our people. Okay. What do you think we ought to do here? You heard Mr. Watt. He said, ''Look, we're trying to bring some order and rationality, some reasonable consistency into this system.'' Whose against that?
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Mr. HRINYAK. I think the course that the Immigration Service has chosen, to go to Georgia and look at technology in a very objective way is the soundest course we can follow at this time.
Mr. CONYERS. You think we ought to take a look don't you, ourselves?
Mr. HRINYAK. We are taking a look.
Mr. CONYERS. No, us. We're the ones that are going to make the decision.
Mr. HRINYAK. I would invite you to come to Georgia. I would invite you or your staff to come to Georgia.
Mr. CONYERS. Well, I knew that invitation was coming forth any minute. Thank you very much. We ought to go see it shouldn't we?
Mr. HRINYAK. Yes.
Mr. CONYERS. Right. And you've invited us, haven't you?
Mr. HRINYAK. Yes.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. CONYERS. Right. And I accept. Okay.
Mr. HRINYAK. Good.
Mr. CONYERS. And I'm going to try to get the chairman and my dear friend also for us to go down and take a look because that would help us make up our mind, wouldn't it?
Mr. HRINYAK. I believe that it would beneficial to all of us.
Mr. CONYERS. And then I could administer the test that I promised you a little bit better? Wouldn't I? [Laughter.]
Mr. HRINYAK. Yes.
Mr. CONYERS. Yes.
Mr. HRINYAK. You'd have a lot of good questions.
Mr. CONYERS. Thank you very much. Okay, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Conyers. Mr. Watt.
Mr. WATT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think I have acknowledged from the outset that I don't have the technological skill to evaluate the system so this hearing in that sense for me may be a misnomer to look at the technology. I'd like to deal with a couple of policy things that I need to sort through. You testified that theI'm not sure exactly how you said it, so correct me if I'm wrongthat the administration is opposed to the establishment of an automated entry/exit control system. Is that what
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Mr. HRINYAK. Yes, that's what I said.
Mr. WATT. At land borders. So I guess my first question, is the administration saying it's opposed to having a system of automated checking at this time, or is it opposed to the need for such a system?
Mr. HRINYAK. It is not a question of need. It's a question of feasibility.
Mr. WATT. Okay, and so
Mr. HRINYAK. And how it could be done.
Mr. WATT [continuing]. It's a question of timing then. Does the administration believe that a system is needed at some point?
Mr. HRINYAK. A system would serve many purposes and if technology allows it to be implemented without causing harm to commerce and trade, it should be implemented.
Mr. WATT. What if it did cause harm to commerce and trade, how would, in the absence of some system for checking who comes in and who goes out, how would we control our borders?
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HRINYAK. We would clearly face a greater challenge than we would have preferred facing, but I believe through alternate techniques, greater use of risk management, greater use of random intensive inspections of various travelers, we could develop more precise profiles and use those to at least minimize some of the problems. It would not be as inclusive as a global entry/exit system.
Mr. WATT. And you're saying that system would be preferable if there were a major impact on trade because you'd be making some trade-offs? I don'tunderstand, I'm not trying to box you in on this. I'm just trying to evaluate the difficulty of the issues that we're dealing with here. This is a very difficult issue because you're balancing trade, which needs to move quickly, against the integrity of our immigration system and who comes in and out of the country, which is a very important and valuable thing also I assume for both us and Canada and Mexico and any other country, I suppose.
Now, we've got that kind of set aside. Let me go to the second part of what the administration has said its position is, that it would like to have a feasibility study as opposed to an extension of the deadline. I take it those are the two alternatives. An extension of the deadline keeps the INS on task to do this at some point. A feasibility study determines that it is or is not feasible. How would you determine the feasibility if you were doing a feasibility study without actively moving toward a system of doing this and evaluating the alternatives? I guess what I'm trying to do is give you an opportunity to articulate why the administration's position of having a feasibility study as opposed to where we are now, which is having a deadline which the House bill extends for 1 year and probably a year from now will extend another year. Can you evaluate those two alternatives and make your case for why the administration's position is more rational than what we're doing?
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Mr. HRINYAK. In our discussions with staff, particularly regarding the feasibility study, we've gone beyond our Glynco pilot and noted that it would be desirable for INS to pilot the most promising technologies at ports-of-entry. I think based on that we would have very good information, both from the administration's standpoint and for Congress to consider as to the true impacts, what this works, not in a laboratory setting, in the real world, and can address the very real issues you mentioned earlier, the same issues that we at INS have been dealing with. We are as concerned with the enforcement requirements as we are with trade and it's a very difficult balance. And we live in the port of entry, the border environment, probably more than just about any other group in government.
Mr. WATT. Let me stop you. How would you proceed differently if the legislation said we are authorizing a feasibility study with no deadline, as opposed to legislation which we currently have which says do this by 'X' date? How would you proceed differently? That's what I'm trying to figure out.
Mr. HRINYAK. I think the greatest difference would be we can anticipate different technologies will become available, technologies we're not yet aware of, with no deadlines, with the deadlines we're restricted to the technologies that exist today. And those are the ones we'll have to use to make our decisions.
Mr. WATT. Now, I've got two more questions, Mr. Chairman, if you'll be patient with me because I'm leading to the ultimate question here. The intervening question is what are you going to do between now and either completion of the feasibility study or now and the deadline to control, to address the concerns of the integrity of the borders, both at the northern border and the southern border? And are you going to do anything differently at the northern border than you are at the southern border?
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Mr. HRINYAK. Process improvement is an ongoing thing with INS, as you'll probably hear during our SENTRI presentation. That process is sound. It allows better enforcement and facilitation. We're going forward on both borders implementing that system. As we learn through our test of technologies what else is ripe for implementation, we will not wait. We will implement it.
Mr. WATT. But if you weren't working against a deadline, you just had a feasibility study, would you do more profiling in the interim?
Mr. HRINYAK. We might be forced to. I'm not quite certain how we'd proceed.
Mr. WATT. Isn't part of your profiling the appearance of people? Come on, be honest with me now. You're basically looking at people who are coming out of Canada who look ''more American.'' You're looking at folks who come out of Mexico who don't look ''European American.'' That's part of your profile isn't it?
Mr. HRINYAK. At least it's not part of my profile.
Mr. WATT. I mean that's why I get stopped in the airport more than my colleagues going through security, isn't that right?
Mr. HRINYAK. I hope not. I really hope not.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WATT. Well, I guarantee I do, but I'm just telling you the facts of life here. There are certain profiles and when I wear jeans I get stopped even more than I do when I have on a suit. That's what profiling is all about, isn't it? When I wear tennis shoes, I get stopped even more.
Mr. HRINYAK. Physical appearance, characteristics, nervousness, travel itinerary.
Mr. WATT. I don't think I'm any more nervous. I'm more relaxed when I have my jeans and tennis shoes on, believe me. [Laughter.]
It doesn't have to do with being nervous. I can tell you that for sure.
Mr. HRINYAK. It's a complex process and for poorly trained inspectors, less experienced inspectors, they may take short-cuts. We've never condoned short-cuts, but it does happen.
Mr. WATT. All right. Final point. The age-old question that they used to ask when we were moving toward equality, we're still asking that question. How long before we have a system that can do this, do what we say in the law we want done, which you say you don't want to have written into the law, you just rather have a feasibility study to determine whether it should be done? But assume now that we're going to keep the law like it is. We're going to extend it for a year. A year from now are we going to have to extend it again?
Mr. HRINYAK. I honestly can't answer that question.
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Mr. WATT. Two years from now, are we going to have to extend it again?
Mr. HRINYAK. We're beginning our test in Georgia. That should give us some answers. They'll be completed in September, that should give us a better sense. What we're doing in the airport environment is very encouraging. I don't know how much of that is applicable yet to the land border, but I don't think it's an indefinite process. It's just that we haven't the information yet to determine the date certain where we can get there.
Mr. WATT. It's a very difficult issue, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SMITH. It is. Thank you, Mr. Watt.
Mr. WATT. I hope that this hearing is helping people understand just how difficult it is.
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Hrinyak, I trust you feel that the system would be implemented more quickly if there were a deadline rather than just leaving it up to the whim of the individuals as to when they might implement it?
Mr. HRINYAK. Can I decline to answer?
Mr. SMITH. Yes, you may. [Laughter.]
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC You've endured some good questions but they were needed questions, and we appreciate your answers. Thank you very much.
Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman?
Mr. HRINYAK. Thank you.
Mr. SMITH. Oh, the gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Conyers?
Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, could I ask unanimous consent for a few more questions I'd like to ask?
Mr. SMITH. The gentleman is recognized.
Mr. CONYERS. And I want to commend both my colleagues for asking the questions that are critical here to get to some deeper understanding about that matter. All of you supported my proposal to have a study for driving while black. We now need a study for crossing the border while black because that seems to be another problem that needs to be investigated. [Laughter.]
Mr. WATT. Kind of an unstated issue in this discussion.
Mr. CONYERS. Exactly right. And you've done a good job of bringing it forward and I'm grateful for that. And I want to commend you, Mr. Hrinyak, we sometimes get carried away at these hearings, but you're a person of integrity, and you're a senior member in the government, and you've studied these problems. You've answered us as carefully and honestly as you can. We don't know how long it will take either. You don't know. It would be great if we could find somebody that could give us a definitive answer about a technological problem in the future. There probably aren't many people that are around that could pipe up to respond to that kind of thing.
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And so, as the chairman has said, if we give a deadline, won't that force everybody to shape up? Well, that's great. The thing that bothers me is that it might force people to shape up and that would be a good result. But, you know, I've just come off 6 years chairing the Government Operations Committee, and I had everybody that makes military aircraft explain to me how they blew deadline after deadline, billions of dollars involved, they're making money, overruns, work day and night, guys, cost be damn. Hire everybody. And they missed the deadline every single time. Every single time. Good intentions.
We line them all up from the President down. They would explain how the unions screwed up. The labor force went south. The technology that they were getting provided, somebody blew it, the engineers. This, that, the sun wasn't in the right place. Everything went wrong. It wasn't their fault. They missed the deadline. Some of it had very serious military implications. So it's not a matter of me getting somebody up here to promise we can do this byoh, not to worry. We had penalties written in so you'd lose big money if you blow it. They couldn't help it. It wasn't because they were sitting around saying, ''Oh, forget the Congress.'' They just couldn't do it. And so I'm pleased with your response because it helps us figure out what we're going to do here.
So we don't know if a year is enough. I'm happy that we got a year. The question is can we, even with a year delay, will we do this? And, by the way, what kind of feasibility studies have we had?
Mr. HRINYAK. By feasibility studies, what technologies are we looking at?
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Mr. CONYERS. Technology feasibility.
Mr. HRINYAK. We're looking at the existing machine readable documents that are in circulation by the U.S. Government, or other government issued, and the sort of technology they use on the Dulles tollway, the radio frequency technology which we've used in SENTRI. We're looking at the sorts of technologies that eliminate paper and speed transactions.
Mr. CONYERS. Yes, in other words, getting to the bottom of this because the chairman has been very generous, we haven't done a full feasibility study yet have we?
Mr. HRINYAK. We've just begun our feasibility study.
Mr. CONYERS. Ahhh, okay. There hasn't been one small one done already, this, the big one is in progress now?
Mr. HRINYAK. It's in progress.
Mr. CONYERS. Okay, I'm feeling better and better. Last question, Mr. Chairman, now, will the systemthe technology that we're going to have bragged on here later, will that system locate aliens who have overstayed their time?
Mr. HRINYAK. It will identify them on exit. There are also
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. CONYERS. Yes, but that's not the question is it?
Mr. HRINYAK. It will also identify records that have been matched and by implication they've overstayed their time. We'll know there's an entry and no matching departure.
Mr. CONYERS. Well, how will that facilitate your organization in picking them up?
Mr. HRINYAK. That remains a challenge that we're struggling with.
Mr. CONYERS. Okay. Thank you very much.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Conyers.
Mr. WATT. May I just ask one quick question?
Mr. SMITH. Yes, Mr. Watt?
Mr. WATT. The feasibility study that is being recommended, is a time frame associated with that recommendation, with the administration's recommendation?
Mr. HRINYAK. We anticipate very close to a full year because in addition to technologies, we're looking at each land border port of entry, the infrastructure, how that infrastructure might have to be modified.
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Mr. WATT. I'm just trying to find out what will be the time. If we revised the language or statute to provide for a feasibility study, what would be the time we would put in the law applicable to the feasibility study? We may be playing semantics here. I'm just trying to figure out whether to accept your approach that feasibility study would be better than having a deadline for implementing what would be the time of the feasibility study.
Mr. HRINYAK. For those portions that relate purely to INS and to technology, probably a year. However, we'll have to work with the Department of Transportation and other entities, bridge and tunnel authorities, for pieces of that study. If they don't get us necessary information promptly, it may take longer.
Mr. WATT. And in the interim, same differential that you are currently applying at the southern border, entry wise and exit wise, I guess, would be still at play?
Mr. HRINYAK. You mean the differences in process on the two borders?
Mr. WATT. Yes.
Mr. HRINYAK. I can't speculate as to how processes will change as we look at different technologies. There may be some changes.
Mr. WATT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Watt. Mr. Hrinyak, thank you again. I appreciate your testimony today.
Mr. HRINYAK. Thank you.
Mr. SMITH. And we will go to our second panel now. It consists of Ms. Ann Cohen, vice president, Government Services, EDS; Dr. Paul Clark, chief scientists, Information Technology, DynCorp; and Mr. Donald Brady, vice president, Transcore from San Diego, California.
We're going to begin with Dr. Paul Clark, who has a media presentation for us. Mr. Clark, do we need to turn out the lights or do anything to help you out? Oh, you have all that ready. I wonder if we should turn off the rest of the lights. I think we may need to, if that's possible. Let's turn them all off. I think folks in the audience will be able to better see as well.
Please proceed, Mr. Clark. We're going to need to get you a microphone I think.
STATEMENT OF PAUL CLARK, CHIEF SCIENTIST, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, DYNCORP
Mr. CLARK. A couple of months ago you asked us to analyze the technical requirements for an automated entry/exit system which would provide levels of assurance in security, and what I'd like to do is provide an overview of the system as I've conceived it and then give you a demonstration of what some other agencies are currently doing in this area.
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The requirements, as we see them, is basically first and foremost to provide reliable identification both for individuals entering and exiting the country and also officials seeking to access the information that's being stored. Within that framework, we need to provide secure entry and exit updates, both authenticated and also confidentiality protected; authorized access to individual status for officials; and then also automated alarm generation and notification for those who are overstaying their entry terms.
At a high level, the identification problem boils down to using one or more mechanisms which include the physical IDs which are what are currently being used; pins and passwords; biometrics also being deployed; and then more advanced challenge response type systems which provide things like digital signatures, things like these smart cards you alluded to earlier. Combinations of these mechanisms actually increase the assurance in the authentication of individuals and thereby give more reliable identification of those individuals.
Okay, for an entry/exit system, all we need to do is authenticate individuals and then provide real time notification to officials at the field sites as to whether or not they are overstayers, previous offenders, or current wanted individuals. This is a secure database submit, signed and encrypted, and followed by a secure notification, signed and optionally encrypted from the central database. To do a current status check, we need only retrieve records in an authorized fashion from that central database. This is a secure database retrieve for officials authorized to access that information.
To detect overstayers, we need only use the standard report generation capabilities available on most COTS, commercially available databases. These reports can be generated and automatically disseminated to authorized individuals or made available under secure access to those individuals in remote sites. One possible scenario would involve actually securely e-mailing to local sites a list of individuals who are overstaying.
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To do this, we generally follow a comprehensive architectural approach which allows us to secure the data being transmitted against various threats, also protects the database servers through the use of commercial firewalls specially configured, and then smart cards to provide the cryptographic services and also for field officers who actually provide access to the local work station.
This is a system that we've done for the IRS, and I'm going to demonstrate right now, through the use of my wireless modem here, the ability to securely submit tax data to an actual IRS service center. Okay, so this is a standard web browser, with some add-in software that we make available for free. And I'm able to submit this form, and when I do, you'll be able to actually see the card being accessed over here if you look carefully. And we will digitally sign that form. We could optionally encrypt it as well. You'll see there that it's signed by me, Paul Clark. And now we'll submit it and I'm going to show you where the data is actually going.
I'm sitting here, connected by a wireless link, connected to our web server, submitted the data which is gatewayed out on to the actual Treasury communications system, going through our gateways to a gateway up at the IRS service center. It will decrypt and verify the signature and generate a digitally signed notification which it will send back through the gateway, through the web server to me and I will verify it. The plain text data will go to the legacy system which has no awareness of the security on the front end of this. The digitally-signed record is stored here in the archive, which for tax purposes allows us to prosecute fraud cases.
What I've just received back now is the receipt signed by the IRS service, and I'll go ahead and pull that up for you. What I got was from the EMS office, a message ID, a ''received-by'' with a date and time stamp by the gateway at the IRS service center. It recognized me as Paul Clark, and a status message that this has been accepted and forwarded.
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Now, for a border crossing, what this would be then would be this individual is recognized as having come into the country, or this individual has overstayed their welcome on exit, and you'd be able to detect that in real time. You could also tell if they were a wanted felon for some reason, or if they posed a higher risk basically based on past offenses. So it allows more accurate profiling.
Mr. SMITH. I assumeif I may interrupt youI assume you're saying that all this technology is currently available? This isn't in the future, this is in the present?
Mr. CLARK. No, this is deployed. I just went to an actual IRS service center. This is in response
Mr. WATT. Is that real time?
Mr. CLARK. Yes, it just came back.
Mr. WATT. The response time?
Mr. CLARK. You just saw it. Actually, the bottle neck on this, you'll more accurately see the response times actually in the next demonstration which shows the retrieve. The Treasury system is actually a little bit of a bottle neck for the submission. It won't be involved in the next demonstration which is a secure retrieve and you'll be able to see what the response time is.
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Mr. SMITH. Mr. Clark, if you can conclude your presentation and go on to the next?
Mr. CLARK. Indeed. The system I'm going to demonstrate for the secure retrieve then is for one of our private clients which does a signed and encrypted request which is gatewayed to protected database servers behind firewalls. We will get a signature check to find out if I'm authorized to access the information. That signed and encrypted response will be pushed back down to the web browser. Again, this will be done wireless.
Okay, so based upon name, date of birth, and Social Security number, I'm going to retrieve security clearance information, again, using the smart card to sign and encrypt. Remember that's occurring here locally. The data is formatted and signed for the SAP server. So it has just been signed by me and encrypted for the SAP server. I'm going to submit that data. Remember it's being gatewayed through the firewall to the database server where we'll do the authorization check. So this is roughly a status check on an individual.
Here's the encrypted response that just came back. We'll verify that locally again using the smart card. So this was signed by the database server, encrypted for me, and there are the programs that I'm cleared for. Of course, this is a mock up.
Mr. SMITH. Okay.
Mr. CLARK. So we do secure/submit and secure/retrieve. And what that allows us to do with this comprehensive architecture is to utilize COTS based system, basically the client can choose the vendor and that provides inter-operability and reliability for those systems, as well as reducing costs. And then we would use multiple authentication mechanisms to include existing mechanisms as well as newer technology to provide authentication at a high level.
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Mr. SMITH. Okay, thank you, Mr. Clark. That's a very good presentation. And I'm glad you understand it. [Laughter.]
If we can turn the lights back on, and, Mr. Clark, if you'll return to the table and then we'll hear from our next two witnesses.
Mr. Watt was just making the comment that we just allowed somebody to come into the United States. Did we? Or exit or not? [Laughter.]
We'll resume with our second panel. Ms. Ann Cohen, vice president, Government Services, EDS.
STATEMENT OF ANN COHEN, VICE PRESIDENT, GOVERNMENT SERVICES, EDS
Ms. COHEN. Good morning. I appreciate the opportunity to be here to discuss EDS's views on the technological feasibility of developing an automated entry-and-exit system to identify travelers who overstay. EDS has been the principal supplier of information technology services to the INS since 1994, so we have a unique perspective on some of the technologies being discussed. Our partnership with the INS has produced a number of award-winning technologies, but today I'm going to focus briefly on what technology have we put in place and to some extent that addresses the issue of overstays.
In answer to your question, yes, it is technically feasible to build an automated system to identify potential overstays. It will also be a challenge. The system represents a significant change for INS inspection processes, for the program, and the technical implications of new information systems, business processes and facilities are the kinds of things we look at with our testimony, excuse me, with our technology.
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An important factor in the system design is how policy-makers make and implement statutory requirements. The first chart in my testimony is a graphical representation of the potential impact of these interpretations. It is not an exact scale but it shows the size, scale, and scope of the system will likely increase depending on how this legislation is interpreted. Does it on the one hand want to collect statistical information by nationality and traveler classification for the visa waiver pilot program or is it real time enforcement actions that we're talking about? The data storage, the processing, the implementation requirements for the system will determine the memory capabilities, the size and the scope of the system, and have an impact on what kind of system gets developed. Starting with a base of 350 million non-U.S. citizen travelers and a like numberrecords, excuse me, and like number of departure records annually, in its most basic interpretation, we're talking about the amount of data that is currently in the Library of Congress. It's a big database.
Tracking the departure process will be a new element, as Mr. Hrinyak discussed, because INS currently does not track departures. Consequently, from the departure standpoint telecommunication lines, business processes, and other processes will need to be put into place to meet the technological needs.
Finally, if the system has to have zero tolerance I believe we're talking about taking a biometric and capturing biometrics will have to be used. And this clearly will contribute to increased wait times if not from an enrollment standpoint.
We believe all these issues can be solved technically, and parts already have, but in some cases, I believe we are pushing the envelope and need to take a strong look. Section 110 requires us to think of the technical integration of all these different pieces that have been developed. Many of the award-winning technologies that we've developed form a foundation for what section 110 requires, but one of the things we've done with the automated I-94 process at airports is particularly appropriate here because it is the capture of automated arrival and departure information. And the system is premised on the partnership with airline carriers where they're taking certain information to complete the I-94 which significantly frees the INS inspector up to do the most important part of his or her job which is quality inspection. The I-94 is something in place today.
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We're proud of these automated inspection programs but admittedly they only scratch the surface. We've touched, I think, 24 out of 300 plus ports-of-entry at this point, but the technology clearly could be expanded. But section 110 and chart 2 shows that the departure that we have in development for the INS weren't designed to address section 110 because it wasn't on the books at the time. But they do address arrival. They can be made to address departure. But they must be integrated into any comprehensive system, including a comprehensive database.
While many technical options exist, decisions regarding what level of detail must be collected will affect technology choices. The INS will look at selected technology solutions that minimize the burden on the traveling public but to achieve both will likely require some compromise we believe. Each of the environments presents a challenge but the land border, what you heard Mr. Hrinyak testifying about, presents the greatest challenge because that's the greatest amount of travelers. And right now, as you heard, in Glynco we are testing radio frequency technology and machine readable documents technology. We have various solutions at various points of entry, and we are working on the feasibility of them right now.
In conclusion, it is technically feasible. There are real technical challenges. The proper requirements definition, which is what we do for our business, proper technology requires that the existing environment and the statutory interpretation be clarified so that the technology can move forward.
Thank you for this opportunity, and I'd be glad to answer any questions.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Cohen follows:]
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PREPARED STATEMENT OF OF ANN COHEN, VICE PRESIDENT, GOVERNMENT SERVICES, EDS
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:
Good morning. I am Ann Cohen, EDS Vice President, Government Services Division. I want to thank you and your staff for the opportunity to be here today and for soliciting EDS' views on the technical feasibility of developing an automated entry exit control system to identify travelers that remain in the United States (U.S.) beyond the period authorized by the Attorney General and are otherwise know as ''overstays''.
EDS is a professional services company with 110,000 employees working across the United States and in 43 countries around the world. We have customers in a variety of industries, including banking, health care, manufacturing, transportation, retail, communications, and government.
In 1994, EDS entered into an Information Technology Partnership (ITP) with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to design, develop, and deploy new information technology systems as well as operate a number of legacy systems. We are pleased to report that EDS will continue to support the INS's technology initiatives under the Service Technology Alliance Resources (STARS) contract. The partnership, to date, has produced a number of award winning information systems, particularly in support of the Inspections' program. My testimony today will address (1) the technology associated with these award winning systems (2) whether it is technically feasible to build an arrival-departure information system to identify overstays without increasing current inspection process times, and (3) the specific components of such a system
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The bottom line is that we believe it is technically feasible to build an automated entry exit control system to identify potential overstays.
It will, however, be a challenge because the system represents a significant change for the INS inspection program in terms of new information systems, business processes, and facilities. In addition to the business process and technical challenges, there are, of course, many policy changes associated with these challenges, such as requiring departure information to be collected from all non-citizen travelers; something that does not exist today. That alone will affect system requirements, development, and deployment and have an enormous impact on the business systems of INS today, the nature of the non-citizen travelers relationship with the U.S. border and other policy concerns which impact a technical approach.
The figure below, is a graphical representation of the potential impact of such decisions; it is not an exact scale.
First, the size, scale, scope of the system(s) will likely increase by orders of magnitude depending upon whether the legislation is interpreted to require information, on the one hand, for statistical collection on possible overstays by nationality and traveler classification type or, on the other hand, pursue active, real-time enforcement actions against travelers who have overstayed their permitted time in the U.S.
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Second, in either event, departure inspection facilities, communication lines, and new business processes must be established. Overstay records cannot be created if departure records are not collected. If active, real-time enforcement actions are considered, then the number and size of the departure facilities is likely to increase further still. Currently only air travelers, 13 percent of all non-citizen travelers, are subjected to any form of departure inspection and that is limited to statistical collection.
Finally, if the statute is interpreted to require highly reliable overstay information, i.e., zero tolerance for mismatched arrival and departure records, then it will likely required biometric technology. The use of biometrics will likely contribute to increased wait times for travelers entering the U.S. Of course any effort to collect departure records contributes to the time it takes to exit the U.S. since there is no nationwide outbound inspection or process for collecting departure records in effect today. Although the effort to obtain reliable arrival and departure information may only add a few seconds to the time it takes to process an individual traveler, the cumulative effect, given the numbers of non-citizen travelers, could be substantial. In addition to the increased wait time for inspection, most travelers, who do not currently have the machine readable documents necessary for an automated entry exit control system, must take a few seconds to provide additional information or pre-enroll in a system before arriving at the border, which would capture the information electronically.
Based on our experience, systems that must capture, match, and reconcile millions of information records annually require substantial business requirements analysis and ultimately long lead times and significant resources to develop.
Page 67 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCBACKGROUND
As we understand it, the goal of Section 110 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) is to enhance immigration enforcement and border security by ensuring that non-U.S. citizens leave the U.S. when required. Specifically, Section 110 requires the INS to develop an automated entry and exit control system which will:
match all individual alien departure records with arrival records by September 30, 1998;
submit periodic reports to Congress on nonimmigrant alien overstays by no later than December 31 of each year following the development of the system;
enable the Attorney General to identify, through on-line searches, lawfully admitted non-immigrants who overstay their authorized visit, and;
integrate overstay data into appropriate data bases of the INS and Department of State, including those at ports-of-entry and at consular offices.
According to INS, about 500 million U.S. citizens and non-citizens were admitted into the U.S. in fiscal year 1997. The INS estimates that as many as 70 percent or about 350 million of these travelers are non-citizens. These travelers enter through land, air, and sea ports of entry in varying numbers, as follows:
about 85 percent through land border ports of entry;
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC about 13 percent through air ports of entry, and;
about 2 percent through sea ports of entry.
Although it is the exception rather than the rule, it is important to note, travelers who enter through one port of entry may exit through any other port of entry. Thus, a traveler who arrives by air may exit by land or sea or vice versa.
Currently, the INS captures arrival and departure records on only 24 million or about 8 percent of all travelers entering the U.S.; most of these records are collected manually at international airports and are entered into the Nonimmigrant Information System (NIIS). These records are used to produce overstay information for policy and law enforcement purposes. The INS uses confirmed overstay information for enforcement actions. When the INS determines that a nonimmigrant alien has overstayed his or her permitted time in the U.S., a record is created in the INS's lookout database for criminal aliens. These lookout records are used by Immigration inspectors as well as interior enforcement to identify nonimmigrant aliens that should be apprehended or removed from the U.S. Congress uses the overstay data to consider renewal of the Visa Waiver Pilot Program (VWPP) or expansion of the program to other countries. As the subcommittee is aware, Congress began the VWPP about 10 years ago to ease the entry of nonimmigrant travelers from certain ''low risk'' countries.
Section 110's automated entry exit control system would need to capture about 700 million records350 million arrival records and 350 million departurerecords annually for non-citizen travelers. In other words, this system will be responsible for capturing, matching, and reconciling the entry and exit records for 92 percent of all the travelers who enter the U.S. and are not currently accounted for in the NIIS database. Assuming the historic growth rate of non-citizen travelers entering the U.S. remains constant at 5 percent per year, the system will exceed 1 billion records within 10 years.
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ITP SUCCESS STORIES
Let me briefly share with you several of the award winning information systems EDS has developed to improve the control of our nation's borders and facilitate lawful entry into the United States. Most of these systems were not developed with Section 110 in mind; they do not currently collect entry and exit records in a central database.
Automated Inspections for Low-Risk, High Frequency Travelers
Over the past four years, we have worked with several teams of law enforcement experts from several Federal agencies, such as INS, the United States Customs Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and technology partners, such as Transcore, to develop innovative technology solutions to facilitate the entry of low-risk, high frequency travelers into the U.S. A key aspect of these systems is that the travelers voluntarily pre-enroll to participate. These solutions include:
Land: Secure Electronic Network for Traveler's Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) a 1996 Hammer Award winner. SENTRI is the world's first automated secure dedicated commuter lane. It uses magnetic strip card readers, radio transponders, automatic, digital license plate readers, electronic gates, tire shredders, and pop-up bollards to automatically identify the occupants of the vehicle and enable the vehicle to proceed through the lane in about 2 minutes whereas other travelers may wait as much as 30 minutes;
Air/Land:INS Passenger Accelerated Service System (INSPASS) is a 1997 recipient of the Federal Technology Leadership's Best of the Best award. Other countries including the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, Great Britain, Israel and Bermuda, have already established a working group to develop similar systems. Canada, for example, has already begun testing a similar program called CANPASS It is a special kiosk which employs state-of-the-art hand biometric verification technology to validate the identity of about 80,000 pre-enrolled citizen and non-citizen travelers in as little as 11 seconds, whereas other travelers may have to wait as much as 45 minutes. and;
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Land/Sea:Remote Video Inspection System (RVIS) is a 1998 recipient of the Department of Justice's JustWorks award for improving service and justice to citizens. The system uses vehicle sensors, card readers, electronic gates, video cameras, and voice recognition technology that enable INS inspectors and/or U.S. Customs Officers at a staffed port of entry on the U.S.-Canadian border to inspect pre-enrolled travelers at remote facilities. The system enables travelers in remote locations to more easily cross the border where before they sometimes had to travel up to hundreds of miles out of their way to make a border crossing.
Pilot Automated System for Collecting Arrival and Departure Records
Air: In 1997, the INS partnered with U.S. Airways to pilot the I-94 Automation System at two air ports of entry and it is scheduled for expansion to other airline carriers and sites in FY98 and beyond. It was recently nominated for the 1998 Federal Technology Leadership Award. The I-94 pilot is the first successful effort to automate the capture of traveler information upon arrival and departure from the U.S. To date, the system has captured about 30,000 arrival and departure records, which represents a fraction of the arrival inspections that occur in the airport environment. Thus, while the system meets the requirements of Section 110 more needs to be done.
The system includes a unique software application with magnetic stripe technology currently used by the airline industry to produce machine-readable boarding passes and capture and store I94 data. The results of the pilot test are very promising. The system reduces the data entry by travelers, speeds inspection processing time, improves the timeliness of data collection, increases the accuracy of the data completed, and enables inspectors to spend more time on quality inspections and less administrative time completing forms.
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We are proud of these system applications and the benefits they produce for the traveling public as well as U.S. border security. However, it is important to note that we have just begun to scratch the surface in terms of the benefit of these systems. Today, these automated systems are deployed at only about 25 of the 385 INS staffed air, land, and sea ports of entry and are responsible for a small percentage of the total volume of inspections that occur daily at all ports of entry nationwide.
These success stories along with EDS' extensive experience in developing large data bases to collect, integrate, assimilate, catalog, and generate reports on vast amounts of information allows us to say with confidence that the arrival-departure system required by Section 110 is feasible from a technical perspective.
EDS has extensive experience in developing systems that match and reconcile large volumes of records daily. EDS' Financial Industry Group has developed large information systems, including mainframes with client server front ends for numerous banks and other financial institutions. As with the automated entry exit control system, these systems are required to match large batches of recordsdeposits and withdrawalsand generate monthly reports or statements for hundreds of thousands of customers. Other important modules of these systems, include exposure tracking and risk management.
It is also important to note that the U.S. is not alone in the world community in its effort to develop automated inspection systems to enhance border security and facilitate lawful entry. Singapore and Israel, for example, have developed automated systems. Singapore has developed a system that incorporates biometrics to facilitate the entry of day laborers from Malaysia. EDS recently installed automated inspection kiosks similar to the INSPASS kiosks at Israel's Ben Gurion airport. These kiosks are used to capture arrival and departure information while the system queries Israeli lookout databases for possible security threats. Additionally, the Israeli government is considering the development of an automated entry exit control system for Palestinian and other day laborers.
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The efforts of these and other countries to develop automated inspection systems is pushing the envelope on available and emerging technologies. However, the challenges these other countries face pale by comparison to the challenges of building a system for the U.S. when one considers the volume of travelers, the variety of inspection environments, and the geographic dispersion of inspection facilities. The challenges for the automated entry exit control system will encompass each building block or component of the system from the data base to match and reconcile the information; to the system applications that capture the entry and exit records, and; to the machine readable documents that initiate the automated records.
ENTRY EXIT DATABASE
As I noted previously, the size of the automated entry exit control system increases by orders of magnitude when you (1) increase current overstay information beyond the capacities of the NIIS data base to include all ports of entry (2) capture information for eventual enforcement purposes, and (3) capture biometric information for the purpose of real-time enforcement actions. We assume that at least 700 million traveler arrival and departure records will be captured in the system annually. Data storage, processing and implementation requirements for the automated entry exit control system will determine the memory capabilities, size, and scope of the system. For example, the automated I94 pilot demonstrates that an arrival record for a non-citizen traveler uses 360 bytes of storage and the departure record uses 152 bytes. Extrapolating this estimate to the annual volume of non-citizen travelers suggests that a terabyte of storage may be needed for a nationwide system. At the direction of INS, we have developed a database to match, reconcile, and generate reports on about 30,000 automated entry and exit records that have been collected for non-citizen travelers at certain air ports of entry.
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To put some perspective on the magnitude of this number, the information in this system at the end of one year would be equal to the amount of data stored in the U.S. Library of Congress.
If, however, biometric information must be captured because it would provide the highest degree of confidence for unequivocal overstay records then the size of the database will need to be even larger depending upon the biometric identifier to be used. Digital System Processing (DSP) is the technology that converts biometric information, such as the lines of a thumb print into digital data to reduce band width. The spectrum of technical options to capture such information is getting less costly all the time due to improved compression techniques. Nonetheless, the digital information required for biometric identifiers requires more bytes of storage. While Section 104 of IIRIRA requires machine readable biometrics, such as finger prints or hand prints, be included in border crossing identification cards (BCC), Section 110 is unclear on whether biometrics are absolutely required to produce overstay information. Nevertheless, if Section 110 is so interpreted, the only way to identify the non-citizen traveler who overstays with absolute certainty is by a biometrics match.
In addition to the data base needed to store and reconcile overstay information, the system will likely consist of several system applications, such as the Automated I94, SENTRI, INSPASS, or, importantly the biometric verification system that Section 104 requires to be operational by October 1999. These system applications are critical components of the overall system; they will capture arrival and departure records for travelers and upload the information to the core data base for reconciliation.
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As shown in the figure 2 below, these systems could be expanded upon to meet Section 110's requirements.
First, because most of the system applications in place today were not developed with Section 110 in mind; they were designed to facilitate lawful entry alone. Thus, they must be integrated into the automated entry exit control system.
Second, decisions regarding what information must be collected will affect technology choices. On the one hand, tracking statistics only on nonimmigrant aliens by nationality and classification could lead to certain technology choices. On the other hand, pursuing real-time enforcement actions against overstay travelers will likely require different technology choices, such as biometrics, as well as integration efforts with existing INS and other law enforcement databases.
Finally, the INS will likely select technology solutions that create a minimal amount of encumbrance on the traveling public. As I noted previously, travelers volunteer to participate in many of the INS' automated systems to facilitate entry into the U.S. Because Section 110 system is mandatory for all 350 million non-citizen travelers it may not necessarily reduce the time or effort to enter the U.S. With the exception of the automated I94 system, which covers only a small fraction of the total, there is currently no automated process for collecting departure records. Speedy processing and highly reliable information are not mutually exclusive. However, to achieve both will likely require sacrificing some speed and or information accuracy.
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In order to capture the arrival and departure records for the millions of non-citizen travelers, these or similar system applications must be deployed to hundreds of air, land and sea ports of entry and subject to wide extremes both in terms of usage and weather conditions. For example, the Bridge of the America's land border port of entry located in El Paso, Texas performs 80,000 inspections daily and is located in the arid desert climate of West Texas. In contrast, the Anchorage, Alaska seaport inspects 62 people daily and is subject to sub-zero arctic conditions for about 6 months of the year.
Although each of the environmentsair, land, and seafor INS inspections present a unique challenge for technology, the land border environment is clearly the biggest challenge. According to INS, about 85 percent of all inspections occur at the land border with about 60 percent occurring on the southern land border and 25 percent occurring on the northern land border. There are 144 land border ports of entry on our borders with Canada and Mexico. Most of the land border inspections occur in vehicle lanes. Capturing arrival and departure records from all non-citizen occupants in a vehicle poses a number of challenges, such as the ability to capture such records without contributing to the average commute time. Using simulation software tools we are able to estimate that adding even a few seconds to the inspection process for each traveler could cause the average commute time for all travelers at a port of entry to increase substantially.
We are working with the INS to test the feasibility of various technology solutions that could expeditiously collect entry and exit records for all non-citizens at a land border port of entry. The feasibility study is a limited evaluation of different types of technologies that could be used to track non-citizen travelers who enter and exit the U.S. either on foot or by vehicle. Machine readable document scanners and several types of radio frequency (RF) systems will be tested at INS's Glynco, Georgia training facility. For RF identification, tests will be conducted on cards with various data storage and read range capabilities. When a traveler holds their document near an antenna, the RF chip transmits the necessary information to create an automated record.
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MACHINE READABLE DOCUMENTS
The most critical component of the automated entry exit control system or the key that starts the engine is machine readable documents, whether I94's, passports, permanent resident cards (green cards), or border crossing cards. These traveler documents have a unique identifier, which is critical to the ultimate determination of an overstay.
Today, however, not all non-citizen travelers, such as Canadians, are required to present travel documents in order to gain admission into the U.S. Thus, these travelers would need to be enrolled to receive a machine readable document to begin tracking their arrival and departure. Although Mexican citizens are required to carry use border crossing cards to enter at southern land border ports of entry, these documents are not electronically scanned upon entry and there is no departure process. Nevertheless, the new laser visa required by Section 104 of IIRIRA is a starting point for automating the collection of these entry and exit records in a land border environment. However, the INS may need to retrofit existing land border travel documents or produce new travel documents used by non-citizen travelers entering from Mexico if the RF tests conclude that this technology is the optimal solution for capturing entry and exit records without unduly increasing the amount of time a person spends in the land border inspection process.
In conclusion, having reliable overstay information on non-citizen travelers will certainly improve the border security of the U.S. and is technically feasible. A number of challenges will affect system development efforts. The scope of these challenges is directly related to the interpretation of the statute, which is solely within the province of the Congress and INS. Nevertheless, for the INS to build a system to produce this information, will require significant lead times to ensure all requirements are properly incorporated and sufficient funding is available to complete. EDS has been proud to partner with the INS to develop automated systems that improve our nation's border security and we look forward to working with our client to overcome challenges in the new millennium.
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Thank you for inviting me to testify during today's hearing. I would be pleased to take any questions that you might have.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Ms. Cohen.
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And we will now go to Mr. Donald Brady.
STATEMENT OF DONALD BRADY, VICE PRESIDENT, TRANSCORE, SAN DIEGO, CA
Mr. BRADY. Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, thank you very much for the opportunity to testify. My testimony will be sort of a tutorial. It will describe technologies being applied or considered for electronic border crossing applications by our company, Transcore, to support various government agencies.
Transcore is a wholly owned subsidiary of Science Applications International, a $4 billion employee-owned engineering services company. Transcore specializes in intelligent transportation system design and deployment, including electronic border crossing systems. I might mention that we're a system integrator. We don't build hardware. We take the best of the hardware, if it's out there and it works, and apply it to solutions.
Today's testimony is based on Transcore's design and deployment experience and summarized at a high level regarding proven candidate technologies applicable to supporting implementation of section 110.
I'd like to start with radio frequency identification systems, RFID systems. You may be familiar with these type systems on the Dulles toll road or the Dulles Greenway. RFID systems are deployed worldwide and offer a cost effective, mature, reliable, and proven technology for supporting section 110, especially for vehicle identification in providing high-speed reliable electronic index to security or law enforcement databases.
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These RF systems operate in 100 kilohertz to 10 gigahertz frequency range and are proliferating in North America and worldwide. Over five million RF transponders are currently deployed across North America on automobiles, trucks and rail cars, to support electronic toll collection, automatic equipment identification on rail cars, automatic vehicle identification on private vehicles, and for electronic border crossing applications.
The basic RFID systems are composed of wallet-size transponders or tags that carry unique codes and are attached to objects to be identified. I brought examples of these tags. Here's one that's being used at the border crossing at Peace Bridge. Here's a Hughes tag. This is a type of tag that's being used on the SENTRI program, which you'll hear more about today, down at Otay Mesa. This Texas Instruments tag is being used in San Diego to support single occupancy drivers on a high occupancy toll lane.
Mr. WATT. You mean that's what the person has to carry?
Mr. BRADY. No, these actually go on your car. They have Velcro on the back of them. You put them on the windshield of your car. These type happen to mount on the license plate or underneath the car if security is involved. They're attached to the vehicle and they will identify a vehicle, not necessarily the person inside, but a vehicle.
There are several manufacturers, Amtech, Mark IV, Hughes, Texas Instruments, Delco. These tags are being used for toll and border systems.
Readers interrogate the tag, process the code returned by the tag, and send the tag a codethe code to a host computer or information management system, as you saw earlier described here. Antennas are deployed to communicate between the reader and the tag using dedicated short-range communications protocols.
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There are two types of tags. The passive tag is energized by the RF energy received from the reader. It actually turns it around. It requires no batteries. The other type of tag has a battery and battery life is typically in the range of 5 to 10 years.
These type of systems have several features that make them attractive for vehicle usage and associated border crossing applications. They include ability to read at distances up to 300 feet from the antenna. They can read at speeds up to 150 miles an hour if you care to cross the border at that speed. They read in a broad area or in a very precise, narrowly defined area, so you can read many vehicles or you can read just one at a time. You can read many tags at once. And they're modest in cost, approximately $40 each.
Implementation of these type systems that operate reliably requires the expert integration of a variety of processors and sensors that complement the basic RFID suite I just described. The attachment at the back of the testimony that I have here has several pages that depict this type of installation and the type of equipment at a border crossing, at the Dedicated Commuter Lane at Otay Mesa. A similar deployment has been made at Buffalo, at the Peace Bridge, and at the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit. And we're deploying more systems at San Ysidro, California and other spots along the southern border.
While this technology doesn't appear to be rocket science, when it's integrated into a system that requires performance in the very high 99.9 percent-plus range, the integration issue does begin to approach that of rocket science, what NASA requires to get spaceships off the ground. So it does require a significant amount of engineering to make this system work reliably and that's very important when you have people actually crossing the border. They don't want to be stopped because something breaks or is unreliable.
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Short-range RFID: Other reusable RFID systems that have application to section 110 are shorter range and usually lower cost then the toll type systems and tags I just described. These systems which are typically used to identify warehouse goods, static equipment, or for security applications could support foot passage across international borders. They're essentially electronic bar codes and come in a variety of RF packages. I've brought some examples of these little microcans. They're very tiny. They can cost as little as $2. They can have just a very simple code and be passive only, or they can be more elaborate, have a more elaborate processor in them. Typically these devices have to be placed on the reader or very close to the reader which may be a few feet away for them to operate, unlike these others which are designed for higher speed operations.
Smart cards: I don't have a smart card with me, but we've all heard about them. They're an emergent technology, suitable for low speed automobile and foot traffic. Smart cards are basically a micro-processor with some embedded memory. It's slightly larger than a regular credit card. The difference between smart cards and these RFID systems is that smart cards are really a direct communication between a miniature computer and a reader whereas RFID simply provides a code or a tag that allows you to access a database.
Smart cards have the capability to provide protection against fraudulent or unauthorized use that exceeds traditional magnetic striped cards because they have more elaborate security measures encoded into the micro-processor. They can carry cash, the digital image of the authorized user, facial, fingerprint, or finger geometry information, or biometrics. Smart card usage is growing very rapidly in Europe where credit cards have not really been deployed as extensively as in the U.S. And the acceptance and the extent of use of smart cards in the U.S. is still an open issue. We don't quite know where that's going yet.
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Biometric systems: We've heard reference to that today. Biometric systems provide positive identification of a person. This can include fingerprint, finger or hand geometry, or facial recognition, speech recognition. Those are typical types of biometrics that are used. The biometric data is encoded into a RFID tag, a smart card, or even a 2 09D bar code, like this small 2D bar code that has a picture of baggage and a facial image encoded on it. However, you could have your finger geometry encoded on this just as well and when you match that up with something like this Digi-2, which is a two-finger geometry biometric reader, it's very fast. It reads in less than 1 second. It can be programmed very quickly. Disney is actually using these to get people in and out of their amusement park in Florida.
So when you combine those, now you have the ability to positively identify a person, to cue a database, and to move them very quickly through a land inspection site. Now, if you have to do this when you're in an automobile, it's obviously going to slow you down but it still would provide positive identification and make it fairly quick.
In summary, I'd just like to say this brief technical discussion is focused on methods of supporting section 110 by using proven, off-the-shelf technologies and integration that's currently deployed for current electronic border crossing systems in a variety of other applications where these are mature technologies, including toll systems and equipment identification.
I'd finally like to add that technology alone can't fully address the section 110 issues of border efficiency and security. A system solution is required and the system includes these types of technologies, it includes a database that allows rapid access to keep the people moving, and it requires an effective, efficient registration process by the government agencies. All those pieces have to be there in order to have something that's going to be viable. You can't have one or the other. Technology alone can't solve the problems.
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Thank you again for your time, and I'd be glad to answer any questions.
[The prepared statement of Brady follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF DONALD BRADY, VICE PRESIDENT, TRANSCORE, SAN DIEGO, CA
This testimony describes technologies being applied or considered for electronic border crossing system applications by TransCore. TransCore is a wholly owned subsidiary of Science Applications International Corporation, a $ 4 billion employee-owned engineering services company. TransCore specializes in Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) design and deployment including electronic border crossing systems. Today's testimony is based on TransCore's design and deployment experience and summarizes, at a high level, proven candidate technologies applicable to supporting implementation of Section 110 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 at Land Borders.
RADIO FREQUENCY IDENTIFICATION (RFID) SYSTEMS
RFID systems are deployed worldwide and offer a cost-effective, mature, reliable, and proven technology for supporting Section 110, especially for vehicle identification and providing a high-speed, reliable electronic index to security or law enforcement databases. These RF systems operate in the 100 KHz to 10 GHz frequency range and are proliferating in North America and worldwide. Over 5 million RF transponders are presently in service across North America on automobiles, trucks and railcars to support Electronic Toll Collection (ETC), Automatic Equipment Identification (AEI), Automatic Vehicle Identification (AVI) and Electronic Border Crossing (EBC) applications.
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The basic RFID system is composed of wallet-sized transponders or ''tags'' that carry unique codes and are attached to objects to be identified. These examples of tags, manufactured by Amtech, Mark IV and Hughes, are all being used for electronic toll and border systems. Readers interrogate the tag, process the code returned by the tag and send the tag code to a host computer or information management system. Antennas are deployed to communicate between the reader and the tag using Dedicated Short range Communication (DSRC) protocols.
There are two types of tags. The passive tag is energized by the RF energy received from the reader. This type of tag requires no batteries. The active tag type responds to a reader interrogation with energy derived from an internal battery, typically with a battery life of 5-10 years. RFID systems have several features that make them attractive for vehicle usage and associated border crossing applications. These features include:
Ability to read at distances of up to 300 feet from the antenna
Ability to read at high speedsin excess of 150 MPH
Ability to read in a broad area or in a precise, narrowly defined zone
Ability to read multiple tags simultaneously
Modest cost in the $40.00 range
Implementation of RFID systems that operate reliably requires expert integration of a variety of processors and sensors that complement the basic RFID suite. The attachment to this testimony depicts the type of RFID installation used at Dedicated Commuter Lanes at Otay Mesa, California, Buffalo, New York and Detroit, Michigan. While this technology does not appear to be so called ''rocket science'', when RFID is integrated into a system that typically requires performance in the 99.9% range, the technical challenge is significant and approaches the ''rocket science'' threshold.
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SHORT RANGE RFID
Other reusable RFID systems that have application to Section 110 are shorter range and usually lower cost that the toll type systems and tags previously described. These systems, which are typically used to identify warehoused goods and static equipment, or for security applications, could support foot passage across international borders. These systems are essentially electronic bar codes, and come in a variety of RF packages, such as these microcans. Microcans contain miniature processors and can store limited amounts of data. They typically require that the device be placed near or in direct contact with the reader.
Smart Cards are an emergent technology suitable for low speed automobile and foot traffic. A smart card is a microprocessor with some embedded memory in a package slightly larger than a standard credit card. There is a difference between Smart Cards and the RFID systems identified above in that Smart Cards are really a direct communication between a miniature computer and a reader whereas pure RFID simply provides identification data from the tag to a reader, which is usually connected to a computer system.
Smart Cards have the capability to provide protection against fraudulent or unauthorized use that exceeds traditional magnetic stripe encoded credit cards by having more elaborate security measures encoded into the microprocessor. Smart cards may carry cash, a digital image of the authorized user, facial, fingerprint or finger geometry biometrics. Smart card usage is growing rapidly in Europe where credit cards have not been deployed as extensively as in the US. The eventual acceptance and extent of deployment of smart cards in the US is still to be determined.
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Biometric systems provide positive identification of a person. This could include fingerprint, finger or hand geometry, and/or facial recognition or speech recognition among others. When biometrics are encoded into an RFID tag, smart card, or even a 2D bar code such as this one by Laser Data Command, and then combined with a Biometric finger geometry reader such as this BioMet Digi 2 system, you have the ability to cue a database that an individual has arrived for inspection. Within seconds, a positive identification is made based on a Biometric read. While this approach would slow automobile traffic, overall efficiency and security at the border would be enhanced.
This brief technical discussion has focused on methods of supporting Section 110 by using proven, off-the-shelf technologies and integration that is currently employed for Electronic Border Crossing systems, Electronic Toll Collection systems, Automatic Equipment Identification and Biometric Identification systems. I would be glad to amplify my comments or provide follow-up documentation as necessary. Thank you for the opportunity to testify before this committee.
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Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Brady.
Mr. Clark, it seems like each of you all today have testified that the technology is available. What it's going to require on the part of a lot of us who sometimes might have a reputation for being resistant for change is that we're going to have to I think learn toI hate to quote the President but I shall''welcome change'' or make it our friend. The reason I say that is, and it reminds me of some years ago when a lot of people were hesitant to start using credit cards or more recently when the ATM cards were unveiled, and people said, ''Well, I want to be able to actually see and talk to a real teller. I don't trust those machines.'' And on, and on, and on. Today, if you were to try to take one of their ATM cards away from them, they would scream about your attempting to do so.
So change does come. It can be our friend. It can increase the security of our borders, and it can also, I hope, expedite trade. And that's really my first question, Dr. Clark, to you is could you give us some examples that I and others, sort of people in the street, could understand where the technology would not only not impede but would actually expedite the tourism, and the trade, and the traffic that comes across any border? You need to retrieve your mike there.
Mr. CLARK. I believe the use of common authentication-type technologies will actually facilitate border crossing. And that is if we were to recognize a smart Canadian driver's license in the same way that they might recognize a smart U.S. State driver's license, then you would be able to identify people based upon domestically-issued credentials insofar as there was a belief that proper procedures were followed in issuing those.
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The smart token capabilities such as were described here provides the capability to secure information going across the links and you can actually increase the band essentially without limit at this point.
Mr. SMITH. You mentioned in your demonstration and then showed us the smart card. Give us a quick real-life example as to how that would work.
Mr. CLARK. A user, whether it be an officer who has to actually authenticate it in order to retrieve status information or a user crossing the border, would walk in and either put the card in a reader or using RF technology, such as was described here, walk by the reader, wait briefly, a matter of a couple of seconds, while the central database was queried and get a secure notification to the guard as to the status of this individual.
Mr. SMITH. Now, I just want to double-check. Is that literally the case ''a couple of seconds?''
Mr. CLARK. Indeed. Basically what you saw here was a imitation on the band with the network communications, and there are many orders, magnitude faster ways to communicate.
Mr. SMITH. Certainly a couple of seconds is shorter than often occurs now.
Mr. CLARK. Indeed.
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Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Dr. Clark.
Ms. Cohen, let me go to you. And I don't know if there was something in your testimony that you mentioned, and Mr. Brady might have mentioned it as well, and that is the experience of other countries. It seems that other countries have had greater success than the United States in automating their entry/exit systems. Is that the case? And that's the question I don't know the answer to.
Ms. COHEN. Well, other countries, the experience that we've had are with Singapore and Malaysia where day workers are using a card encoded. First they pre-enroll in a system and then they use the card to pass through the system once they've pre-enrolled. That's a walking person going through.
Mr. SMITH. A walking what?
Ms. COHEN. A person on foot.
Mr. SMITH. Yes, right.
Ms. COHEN. In Israel, they've just implemented the INSPASS technology that Mr. Hrinyak was suggesting for airline travel. Most of the travel in Israel is airline. So they've just started it and we don't have the data yet on whether that's faster. I'm sure other countries are doing some form of it but this is what I know about it.
Page 90 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. If we had such a system, it seems to me that wouldn't that save time? I know I've been to the southern border where you actually have a border patrol agent looking at someone's passport, flipping a couple of pages, checking documents, asking maybe for a secondary document, and so forth. Wouldn't a card like that, that I presume is just slipped through a machine, save time rather than take up extra time or no?
Ms. COHEN. I have to tell you that to an extent it depends on what you're looking at. If we have biometric information and we're looking for the individual and you're not in an enforcement situation but the biometric is recorded on this card, and when you put the card in it's a one to one match between that fingerprint and the card, that happens pretty quickly. If on the other hand, it's an enforcement situation where you're accessing a database of all criminals. In other words, you're not matching the finger to this card, you're matching the finger to an entire database, it's a different situation.
Mr. SMITH. Okay.
Ms. COHEN. You're searching a major database.
Mr. SMITH. Okay. Thank you, Ms. Cohen. And one quick question to Mr. Brady. I want you to go back to that $2 gadget that you showed because I'm not sure I understood that. As I understand, you connected that to the radio frequency ID, and I guess I'm wondering if the technology that you described can be put on a bar card for lack of another term and is that where that $2 item that you just showed us comes in?
Mr. BRADY. Right, it's just another form of identification. This happens to be a very small RFID device that has the same type of information. It has a code in it basically.
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Mr. SMITH. Where do you put that?
Mr. BRADY. Well, you'd either touch it to a reader or you would just wave it by a reader just like you do with your security cards in various government buildings. It would again provide access to a database. But, again, it's not going to provide positive indentification like a biometric does.
Mr. SMITH. Right.
Mr. BRADY. It's going to say someone has showed up with this device. Now if you've got a guard that can match up a face, you've got positive identification. So that's where the disconnect is.
Mr. SMITH. It's one of many different possibilities for technology
Mr. BRADY. What you might be able to do with something like this is maybe cue the database if you need to do a more elaborate search.
Mr. SMITH. I see.
Mr. BRADY. So maybe you screen someone by reading this RF device 10 feet before they actually get to the biometric device so that you have a chance to search the database. There are a whole variety of ways of using all these different types of technologies. And, again, it comes to the system issue of what you really want to do and how you want to implement it.
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Mr. SMITH. Exactly. I think that's the whole point of some of these experimental technology devices that we are using in different ports-of-entry now. Thank you.
Mr. WATT. Is what I'm hearing that none of this stuff really works without biometrics, right?
Mr. BRADY. If you want to identify a person positively
Mr. WATT. Right.
Mr. BRADY [continuing]. You need biometrics included in the process, but
Mr. WATT. Otherwise it's just a card that somebody can steal or transfer or you're identifying a car which isn't what we're about. At the base, you've got to get the biometrics before this works. So you're shaking your head no Mr. Clark. Tell me why?
Mr. CLARK. There are various ways to provide authentication actually to the card itself insofar as it
Page 93 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WATT. Cards are not aliens. People are what we're talking about. And if the card can be transferred, if it's my card and I can give it to Chairman Smith and then I can give it somebody who is not authorized still, at the base, you've still got to get to an individual.
Mr. CLARK. Indeed, and you can do that either, as he said, positively with a biometric or you can use the same sorts of techniques for ATM cards which would be a password linked to a card. Obviously, the biometric is more effective but there are substantial security concerns in that the biometric, like a password, if stolen cannot be changed. Whereas if somebody steals your password to your card, you can change it so you want to be very careful.
Mr. WATT. So the reliable one is biometrics.
Mr. BRADY. Or visual identification.
Mr. CLARK. Visual ID is the same idea.
Mr. BRADY. If the smart card brings up a display that shows
Mr. CLARK. Indeed.
Mr. BRADY [continuing]. You. Well, that's reasonable identification, and that it's actually you going through. Could I amplify this?
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Mr. WATT. Sure, yes.
Mr. BRADY. One of the issues that we've had to grapple with is what's reasonable at the border in terms of efficiency and speed. I live in San Diego and most of the people across the border there are just like everyone in this room.
Mr. WATT. Sure.
Mr. BRADY. I would presume most people in this room shouldn't be treated like a high-risk person.
Mr. WATT. Well, you know, if people didn't blow up buildings and smuggle drugs, then you wouldn't need any of this.
Mr. BRADY. Exactly.
Mr. WATT. You'd just let people come in and out and leave and come. And if they didn't work illegally. Yes. All of that is true.
Mr. BRADY. But if you're an inspector you want to focus on those people that are the high-risk people. If I'm an inspector, I'm not particularly interested in you, especially if I know anything about you ahead of time. I'm going to let you go through because I know you're a good citizen. I want to be able to focus on that person who is high-risk, and these systems offer some leverage in allowing you to filter out, with reasonable assurance, those who are low risk. Presently you do random checks and that sort of thing, but you can filter out the large population of people that are honest and safe and legal travelers, and it allows you to now focus your efforts on those more high-risk individuals. That's one of the benefits, and one way the technology can provide reasonable assurance that the safe people are being screened and being checked randomly, while the real focus is directed to those people who are not safe and legal or whom you have reason to inspect. The automation can allow you to actually target them. You can allow everybody to sign up in the system.
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Mr. CLARK. And you reduce it to a database problem.
Mr. BRADY. Right.
Mr. WATT. You, at some point in your testimony, said that these things are not very expensive, $40 a piece, you said. Forty dollars a piece is a lot of money, somebody has got to pay it.
Mr. BRADY. But you know if you sit at the border at Mexico or you sit down there and wait, if you're a businessman coming across the border and you've got to wait for 20 minutes or an hour to cross the border, how much of your time is money if you've got a business that's based on hours? You'll pay for one of these in a week.
Mr. WATT. Yes, if you're a business person, you're right. And I'm not arguing with you, I'm trying to understand the magnitude of the issues. Let me just ask this question. All of my friends who got in on the cutting edge of technology when I was still using a typewriter, duplicating machines, carbon copies, is the way we used to do it when I started practicing law. And you had to generate a perfectthey did fine but just about every single one of them has had to change their systems at substantial cost several times. How do you keep from getting just mega-investments in a system that obviously in a year, or even a month, is going to be outdated? The advances that are going on this area, it's almost incredible. When I started practicing law, I had a secretary and dictated directly to that secretary. Nobody does that any more. When I got out of law school, no law school in America was teaching people to do their research. I mean everybody had to have books. And I'm not that old. I'm older than most people think, but I might be dating myself. [Laughter.]
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How do you keep from making these massive investments in a system that 2 years from now is going to be out of date?
Mr. CLARK. We suggest that you would invest in a architecture that would allow you to support new identification mechanisms, new platforms, that is if you have an architecture that is a well-defined place to put those new technologies so that you can upgrade when they become outmoded without replacing the entire guts of the system that you've initially deployed.
Mr. WATT. Ms. Cohen, all three of you are technicians, but on page 3 of your testimony there is this chartwe're getting to have a vote, don't be alarmed. Just new technology. [Laughter.]
On page 3 of your testimony there's this chart that puts this in perspective. You understand also what we're trying to do. We're trying to come up with a system that checks folks who come in and folks who go out and figure out who is overstaying their visas, overstaying their welcome, as Mr. Clark said. Is there some expedited way to do this that doesn't require building up this system because every time you go to another step over on the right hand side the wait time gets longer and longer which is what all the business people are concerned about. Is there some way we can do this without a build up of time?
Ms. COHEN. I think that's what we are testing now. We're trying to figure out a way to do it without having such an impact on wait time. But, first of all, I have to tell you that this chart is not designed to be to scale.
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Mr. WATT. I understand that.
Ms. COHEN. It's a graphical representation. And a lot of it depends on things that are beyond our purview, i.e., how the policy is interpreted. But in it's most, what the bottom chart shows, the bottom line shows, in its most aggressive enforcement act, where you want to know who that person is coming in and where you want to know who that person is going out, and be able to find them before they go out, you're talking about tracking fingerprint information, even using compression technology, talking about a large database of information. Databases that we have experience with in terms of what the FBI handles with fingerprints, what Patent and Trademarks handles with registering all the patents and trademarks. There are large databases out there. EDS certainly has done them for financial institutions. The technology is moving to compress things.
Mr. WATT. Would that technology require the input into that database of information of every U.S. citizen? That's reallyand then you jump across into some real
Ms. COHEN. Civil liberties issues.
Mr. WATT. Civil liberties issue, yes. That's the word I was trying
Ms. COHEN. I'm not sure. I mean that's not a call I would make. It could just be people coming into the country that are non-citizens. It depends on what you want to put into that database of information. These are policy issues that are way beyond my purview but obviously a decision could be made that the database is people coming into the country that are not citizens and we'll deal with our citizenry in a different fashion with respect to law enforcement. The citizens can't overstay so I think, I feel like I'm in a policy area that is not mine but I think that it is not that big an issue. But, nevertheless, if you're going to want to do a match of a person, you've got to think about the facilities that are going to exist because the INS currently doesn't check departure information except in airports. Airports handle 13 percent of the people crossing the borders.
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There are some things that have to be addressed here that are very real. I'm not saying they can't be addressed but they need to be part of the whole systemic view of meeting the requirements of section 110. It is a systemic issue.
Mr. WATT. Final question: You heard the discussion earlier I had with Mr. HrinyakI never did get his name rightabout the distinction between imposing a time limit on doing something and doing a feasibility study. Where are you all on that issue?
Mr. CLARK. We're in deployment.
Mr. WATT. Which one would you think would be more rational in light of the state of technology?
Mr. CLARK. I would do a requirements analysis in terms of band width requirements to alleviate the concerns of volumes of traffic being submitted, make a decision as to high-loaded technologies that you wish to deploy and begin deploying on a pilot basis and pick those that work.
Mr. WATT. Is that a feasibility study or is it a deadline? I don't know what you said.
Mr. CLARK. Maybe I misinterpreted your question, basically I was
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Mr. WATT. I'm trying to figure out whether we ought to have a deadline in the statute or whether we ought to provide for a feasibility study in the statute, that's what I'm trying to find out. Do you have an opinion on that? That's all I'm asking.
Mr. CLARK. Not particularly.
Mr. BRADY. My opinion is the technology is there but you need to define the requirementsdon't waste your time on a feasibility study. We know it's feasible, it's just how you pursue it.
Mr. WATT. Ms. Cohen?
Ms. COHEN. My opinion is a lot of the technology is there but the job is to integrate it and make it work, to make it work to satisfy the requirements of 110. It does require a study so that we understand in definition, it requires policy decisions to be made as well, and it also requires making decisions about what really is feasible. Yes, we have lots of technology but which is going to work to satisfy the requirements of section 110.
Mr. WATT. So do I understand you to be saying then that a requirement to do a feasibility study about how to
Ms. COHEN. I guess I didn't answer your question. From a systems management standpoint, you have to define what your requirements are all around. Once you've defined what those requirements are, you then fix them technologically. There are a lot to choose from but how are they going to work in light of what we're trying to solve with those requirements. Once you've done that, given the political policy considerations here, clearly we have to pilot this thing in certain places. You can't just, there's a whole other side of it when you get on the other side of technology which has to do with the community that we will be dealing with that I begin to
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Mr. WATT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SMITH. Let me say to you all that the bells that you just heard indicate that we have apparently two 15 minute votes and then a third vote after that. So Mr. Watt, in the interest of time, I'm going to miss that first vote in order for us to get to our next panel, so that we don't have to get into the afternoon and come back after lunch. So if that's agreeable to you, I'm going to thank our second panelists for being here and for their testimony.
Mr. WATT. Do you know what the first vote is?
Mr. SMITH. I do not know.
And then we'll welcome our third panel and I will introduce them when they are seated.
I thank you all for being here, members of our third panel. We have Mr. Robert Mocny, former SENTRI team leader, Immigration and Naturalization Service; Mr. Joseph O'Gorman, national team leader for land border passenger processing, United States Customs Service; Mr. Donald Brady, vice president, Transcore, San Diego, California, he was a member of the second panel as well; Mr. Joseph Elias, program manager, Calspan Operations, Buffalo, New York; and Mr. Anthony Braunscheidel. Did I pronounce that right? Where is Mr. Braunscheidel? Good. Business development manager, Peace Bridge Authority, where I was not too long ago, in Buffalo New York.
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Let me ask the members of this panel for their indulgence and it is this. In order for me to limit my damage to just missing one vote, we will need to probably get your testimony down to about 3 minutes instead of the normal 5 minutes. I see already Mr. Mocny choking on the glass of water, but if we can do that then maybe I'll be able to squeeze in a question or two. Otherwise, it is important and the reason I'm willing to miss a vote is because I would like to get your testimony on the record at a very minimum. It's important to us and we go back and take a look and review it.
We'll go in the order in which I've introduced you which means that Mr. Mocny is up first.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT MOCNY, FORMER SENTRI TEAM LEADER, IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE
Mr. MOCNY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the invitation to be here and I do welcome this opportunity to speak to you about the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers' Rapid Inspection, SENTRI. SENTRI is the world's first automated dedicated commuter lane using advanced automatic vehicle identification technology modified to meet the stringent law enforcement needs at the border, while at the same time providing a more efficient means of traffic management thereby reducing congestion.
SENTRI is a border management process that has allowed the Immigration Service and the U.S. Customs Service to vigorously enforce the law and swiftly accelerate the inspections of certain pre-enrolled commuters at ports-of-entry. The system identifies travelers who pose little risk to border security, verifies their low-risk status through a background check, and screens approved participants and their vehicles each and every time they enter the United States.
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SENTRI was first implemented at the Otay Mesa, California port of entry on November 1, 1995. A modified version was installed at the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, New York in April of this year.
Participation in the SENTRI program is voluntary. Those individuals who are interested in participating in the program complete a comprehensive application and submit it to the SENTRI enrollment center at the port of entry. Applicants are fingerprinted and a criminal and immigration records check is conducted to help determine eligibility for the program. The applicant can expect a preliminary approval or denial approximately 4 weeks from the time the application was submitted. Applicants who clear the background check are notified and arrangements are made for the applicant to receive an inspection of the vehicle by a U.S. Customs inspector after an interview with an Immigration inspector.
After successful completion of this process, the applicant will receive a port pass identification card and the vehicle is fitted with a radio frequency or RF transponder. Currently we have over 4,100 people enrolled and participating in the SENTRI programs.
A team of law enforcement experts and computer specialists from the INS, the U.S. Customs Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the United States Attorney to the Southern District of California designed the SENTRI border crossing system for the use of low-risk pre-enrolled international travelers who frequently cross the border.
When an approved international traveler approaches the border in a SENTRI lane, the system automatically identifies the vehicle and validates the identity of the occupants of the vehicle. This is accomplished in three ways: First, through data maintained in a SENTRI enrollment system computer, which includes digitized photographs of the vehicle's occupants. Second, from data accessed by a magnetic stripe card reader and the border crosser's port PASS identification number. And, third, by an inspector's visual comparison of the vehicle and its passengers with the data on a computer screen. Simultaneously, automatic digital license plate readers and computers perform queries of the vehicles and their occupants against law enforcement databases that are continuously updated. A combination of electric gates, tire shredders, traffic control lights, fixed iron ballers, and pop-up pneumatic ballers ensures physical control of the border crossers and their vehicles since control is essential for this law enforcement purpose.
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We have conducted over one-half million inspections between the Otay Mesa and Buffalo ports-of-entry since the programs began. Between the system-generated random compliance check and the inspector's own initiative we have only detected three violations of Customs laws. We have not encountered any smuggling of drugs or aliens by individuals participating in the program. Participants in the program wait no longer than 3 minutes even at the busiest time of day because critical information required in the inspection process is provided to the inspector in advance of the passenger's arrival; thus, reducing the inspection time from the average of 30 to 40 seconds to an average of 10 seconds per enrolled customer.
As soon as the vehicle crosses the border, bollards and concrete K-rails create a chute that captures SENTRI traffic and puts it under inspectors' zone of control. At the entrance of the zone, an in-ground inductive loop and a free-standing light curtain sense the vehicle and enable the SENTRI automatic vehicle identification, or AVI system. The AVI antenna interrogates the RF transponder that was secured to the enrolled participant's vehicle frame. Once alerted, a computer locates data about the vehicle and its authorized travelers and stores the data for ready access and display. As the vehicle continues through the shoot and approaches the inspector's booth, a second set of AVI equipment activates and sends the stored information to a computer screen in the inspector's booth.
In an instant the inspector's panel is filled with the information the inspector needs for validation of both the vehicle and its occupants. The screen displays information about the vehicle as well as digitized pictures of the approved SENTRI participants with their name and citizenship. In addition, a red or green system-generated status bar indicates to the inspector whether or not the vehicle is allowed to proceed.
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At the booth, the driver swipes the port PASS card through the reader. If both the inspector and the SENTRI system approve, the traffic light turns green and the traveler can drive unscathed into the United States.
The SENTRI system is also being developed to support the Department of Treasury-led initiative, ITDS, or International Trade Data System. The ITDS is being developed to streamline the process of land border cargo shipments into the United States in support of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Connection between the INS' Global Enrollment System, that system that supports SENTRI, and the ITDS will give Federal inspection services greater control over truck drivers and their crew.
Currently, SENTRI's operational
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Mocny, we're going to, without objection, make your entire testimony that you have there part of the record. If you read all the pages that I've got in front of me, it's going to take 10 minutes not three. So why don't you read your conclusion and then we'll proceed.
Mr. MOCNY. In conclusion, INS is committed to effectively and efficiently facilitating travelers through its ports-of-entry with a process that ensures that those individuals authorized to enter into the U.S. and keeps out those who are not authorized. The SENTRI system allows us to comply with the law by streamlining the process for travelers who pre-enroll and remain low-risk. These pre-enrolled travelers are then permitted to use a traffic lane dedicated solely for the participants in the program. The integrity of the entire process is ensured through a risk-management approval in which random referrals for additional questions discourage abuse. SENTRI complements our commitment toward good customer service and enforcement along our borders.
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[The prepared statement of Mr. Mocny follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF ROBERT MOCNY, FORMER SENTRI TEAM LEADER, IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, I welcome this opportunity to testify on the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers' Rapid Inspection (SENTRI).
SENTRI is the world's first automated dedicated commuter lane, using advanced Automatic Vehicle Identification technology modified to meet the stringent law enforcement needs at the border, while at the same time providing a more efficient means of traffic management, thereby reducing congestion.
SENTRI is a border management process that has allowed the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and U. S. Customs Service to vigorously enforce the law and swiftly accelerate the inspections of certain low-risk, pre-enrolled commuters at the ports-of-entry. The system identifies travelers who pose little risk to border security, verifies their low risk status through extensive background checks, and screens approved participants, and their vehicles, each and every time they enter the United States.
SENTRI was first implemented at the Otay Mesa, California Port-of-Entry on November 1, 1995. A modified version was installed at the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, New York in April of this year.
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SENTRI: THE ENROLLMENT PROCESS
Participation in the SENTRI program is voluntary. Those individuals who are interested in participating in this program complete a comprehensive application and submit it to the SENTRI Enrollment Center at the Port-of-Entry. Applicants are fingerprinted and a criminal and immigration records check is conducted to help determine eligibility for the program. The applicant can expect a preliminary approval or denial approximately four weeks from the time the application was submitted.
Applicants who clear the background check are notified and arrangements are made for the applicant to get an inspection of their vehicle by a U.S. Customs inspector and an interview with an Immigration Inspector. After successful completion of this process, the applicant will receive a PortPASS identification card and their vehicle is fitted with a Radio Frequency (RF) transpnder. Currently, we have over 4,000 people enrolled and participating in the SENTRI programs.
SENTRI: TECHNICAL PROCESS
A team of law enforcement experts from the INS, U.S. Customs Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Transportation and United States Attorney to the Southern District of California designed the SENTRI border crossing system for the use of low-risk, pre-enrolled international travelers who frequently cross the border.
Page 107 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC When an approved international traveler approaches the border in the SENTRI lane, the system automatically identifies the vehicle and validates the identity of the occupants of the vehicle. This is accomplished three ways: 1) through data maintained in a SENTRI enrollment system computer (which includes digitized photographs of the vehicle's occupants); 2) from data accessed by a magnetic stripe card reader and the border crosser's PortPASS Identification Number; and, 3) by an inspector's visual comparison of the vehicle and its passengers with the data on a computer screen. Simultaneously, automatic, digital license plate readers and computers perform queries of the vehicles and their occupants against law enforcement databases that are continuously updated. A combination of electric gates, tire shredders, traffic control lights, fixed iron bollards, and pop-up pneumatic bollards ensures physical control of the border crossers and their vehicles since control is essential for this law enforcement process.
With over a half a million inspections completed through Otay Mesa, and Buffalo ports-of-entry since the programs began, between the computer generated random compliance checks, and the Inspector's own initiative, we have only detected three violations of Customs laws: 2 in violation of the liquor exemption, and 1 for importing commercial products over international borders. We have had no smuggling of drugs or aliens by individuals participating in the program.
Participants in the program wait no longer than three minutes, even at the busiest time of day. Because critical information required in the inspection process is provided to the inspector in advance of the passenger's arrival; thus, reducing the inspection time from an average of 30 - 40 seconds to an average of 10 seconds per enrolled customer.
As soon as a vehicle crosses the border, bollards and concrete K-rails create a chute that captures SENTRI traffic and puts it under an inspector's ''zone of control.'' At the entrance of the zone, an in-ground inductive loop and a free standing light curtain sense the vehicle and enable the SENTRI Automatic Vehicle Identification (AVI) system. The AVI antenna interrogates a RF transmitter that was secured to the enrolled participant's vehicle frame. Once alerted, a computer locates data about the vehicle and its authorized travelers, and stores the data for ready access and display.
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As a vehicle continues through the chute and approaches the inspector's booth, a second set of AVI equipment activates and sends the information (generated by the first AVI reader) to a 10 inch computer color screen in the inspector's booth. In an instant, the inspector's color panel fills with the information the inspector needs for validation of both the vehicle and its occupant(s). The screen shows the license number and identifies the state that issued the plate; the make, model, color, and identification number of the vehicle; as well as digitized pictures of the approved SENTRI participants with their name, and citizenship. Upon reaching the booth, the driver stops, reaches out of the window and swipes an electronically coded PortPASS card through a magnetic stripe card reader. If both the inspector and the SENTRI electronic equipment approve, the traffic light turns green, the exit gate raises, the tire shredder's spikes retract, and the traveler can drive unscathed into the United States.
SENTRI: DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE
The multi-agency team responsible for the development of the SENTRI system is committed to the deployment of the program to five sites along the southern border, and at least two sites on the northern border. The SENTRI system is comprised of dedicated passenger vehicle lanes augmented with the Automatic Vehicle Identification and other technology I have just outlined, along with the customer enrollment centers. These enrollment centers will also support the Department of Treasury led International Trade Data System (ITDS) project. The ITDS is being developed to streamline the process of land-border cargo shipments into the United States in support of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Connection between the INS' Global Enrollment System (GES) and the ITDS will give the Federal Inspection Services greater control over truck driver's and their crew.
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Currently, SENTRI is operational in Otay Mesa, California and Buffalo, New York (Peace Bridge). Plans are already in place to implement SENTRI in San Ysidro, California and Detroit, Michigan (Ambassador Bridge) later this year. El Paso (Stanton St. Bridge) and Hidalgo, Texas are scheduled for Fiscal Year 1999. Funding for those locations are available.
INS is committed to effectively and efficiently facilitating travelers through its ports-of-entry with a process that ensures we let in those individuals authorized to enter into the U.S. and keeps out those who are not authorized. The SENTRI system allows us to comply with the law by streamlining the process for travelers who pre-enroll and remain low-risk. These pre-enrolled travelers are then permitted to use a traffic lane dedicated solely for participants in the program. The integrity of the entire process is ensured through a risk management approval in which random referrals for additional questions discourage abuse. SENTRI compliments our commitment toward good customer service and enforcement along our borders.
This concludes my testimony and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Mocny.
STATEMENT OF JOSEPH O'GORMAN, NATIONAL TEAM LEADER FOR LAND BORDER PASSENGER PROCESSING, U.S. CUSTOMS SERVICE
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Mr. O'GORMAN. Mr. Chairman, I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to be here today to discuss SENTRI. This program supports the Customs Service goal of informed compliance. We have found that the vast majority of people will do the right thing if they know what that is. At the time of enrollment, applicants for SENTRI are given a full explanation of the requirements of the inspection agencies and the unique terms for admission through the SENTRI lane. Customs then is not likely to have to deal with the unintentional violations which take up a significant amount of our inspectors' time.
The program has allowed Customs to devote our resources to those who have not been pre-screened. Enrollees may be processed with a minimal interaction with an inspector. They do, however, still interact with an inspector who matches the image of those who registered with the vehicle against the actual car's occupants. The inspector still has the authority to refer the participants for a secondary inspection. And for this program we've built in a rather strict random selection element to ensure these travelers remain low-risk.
To date, we're very satisfied that the participants are complying with the terms of the program. As Mr. Mocny said, out of over 4,000 enrollees in Otay Mesa, we've had only two or three violations.
Mr. Chairman, that concludes my statement. I'd like to thank you for this opportunity to be here and will be available for any questions you have.
[The prepared statement of Mr. O'Gorman follows:]
Page 111 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCPREPARED STATEMENT OF JOSEPH O'GORMAN, NATIONAL TEAM LEADER FOR LAND BORDER PASSENGER PROCESSING, U.S. CUSTOMS SERVICE
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, I would like to thank you for this opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers', Rapid Inspection (SENTRI).
SENTRI was implemented in Otay Mesa, California as a National Performance Review initiative which, while spearheaded by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Customs Service, also brought together representatives from the FBI, DEA, Border Patrol, the Department of Transportation and the U.S. Attorney for Southern California to work on a new method of border inspection which would expedite travel for low-risk crossers while increasing enforcement capabilities. The program has provided an opportunity to test a variety of technologies to identify enrolled travelers and their vehicles.
This program supports the Customs Service goal of informed compliance. We have found that the vast majority of people will do the right thing, if they know what that is. At the time of enrollment, applicants for SENTRI are given a full explanation of the requirements of the inspection agencies and the unique terms for admission through the SENTRI lane. Customs then is not likely to have to deal with the unintentional violations which take up a significant amount of our inspectors' time.
The program has also allowed Customs to devout resources to those who have not been pre-screened. Enrollees may be processed with a minimal interaction with an inspector. They do still interact with an inspector who matches the image of those who registered with a particular vehicle with the car's occupants. The inspector still has the authority to refer the participants for secondary inspection and we have built in a strong random selection element to ensure the travelers remain low-risk.
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To date we are very satisfied that participants are complying with the terms of the program. With approximately 3,000 enrollees in Otay Mesa, we have discovered only two violations out of roughly 500,000 transactions since the program began. A modified version of the system has just opened in Buffalo. San Ysidro is scheduled to open in August.
Mr. Chairman this concludes my statement. Again, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to appear before the subcommittee to discuss this program. I would be pleased to answer any questions you or the Members of the subcommittee may have.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. O'Gorman. You gave me some time back on that.
Mr. Brady, do you have anything to add to your testimony a minute ago?
Mr. BRADY. I'll give you more time back. I have nothing to add.
Mr. SMITH. Okay, thank you. Don't feel obligated, just was curious.
Mr. Elias, if you will proceed?
STATEMENT OF JOSEPH ELIAS, PROGRAM MANAGER, CALSPAN OPERATIONS, BUFFALO, NY
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Mr. ELIAS. That's good. Now I can add some more to my testimony.
Mr. Chairman, I'm a program manager with Calspan in Buffalo, New York. I was the project manager for the recently completed Intelligent Transportation Border Crossing System field operational test at the Peace Bridge. Calspan served as a prime contractor for this test. Our principal subcontractors were Transcore and Mark IV.
The test objective was to determine the operational and technical feasibility of using electronic clearance for passenger vehicle immigration clearance and toll collection and commercial vehicle Customs and Immigration clearance and toll collection. All of these are only for registered participants.
Our first responsibility under this project was to refine the preliminary requirements provided for us in the request for proposal by U.S. and Canada Customs, by U.S. and Canada Immigration, and by the Peace Bridge. We then developed a detailed design to guide this system development.
A key system component is the dedicated short-range communication equipment, or RFID equipment that has been already described as part of this hearing. It provides the wireless link between the vehicle and the road side to identify each vehicle as it passes specific border crossing locations.
It's important to understand that the architecture which we've talked about today itself is not complex. Providing vehicle IDs through a wireless communications link, connected to a database, is fairly basic. However, complexity results from issues concerning timing requirements, physical plaza constraints, environmental considerations, amounts of data to be processed and system reliability requirements. An important feature, from a user perspective, is the seamless use of electronic vehicle identification for all of Customs, Immigration, and toll collection. The important point here is that in the vehicles, you only need one transponder for both toll collection and border clearance; and many of the people already have a transponder for toll collection.
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This test clearly demonstrated that a single transponder can serve multiple applications. The primary focus of this testimony is the SENTRI system, which is used for passenger vehicle clearance. The dedicated commuter lane provides the vehicle ID for the SENTRI system. It interrogates the database and then displays the picture of the passengers on the inspector's console.
The Peace Bridge dedicated commuter lane implementation was based on the previous deployment at Otay Mesa, California. The lessons learned at Otay Mesa served as design input to upgrade this implementation at the Peace Bridge. But there were also local Peace Bridge issues such as the plaza layout, the local operational procedures, and the weather conditions that dictated some of these design changes.
The tests began in November 1996. The first system that was installed was a commercial vehicle Customs system in May 1997. And then lastly the passenger vehicle toll system and a dedicated commuter lane system were put in operation in March 1998. The dedicated commuter lane system at the Peace Bridge currently has 900 enrolled participants. The lane can accommodate many more cars. However, the buildup of the volume of participants is dictated by the registration process.
This dedicated commuter lane has repeatedly proven that it's capable of providing a more effective enforcement and faster service than manual systems. The project cost $2.1 million to the customer. Over half of that cost was to develop the DSRC integration software. The other major cost element was the equipment. These equipment costs, including the civil and electrical infrastructure were on the order of $800,000.
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In conclusion, no portion of this test has yet to become a fully operational system. However, there are plans already being made to convert the existing toll system and the dedicated commuter lane to established systems.
The commercial toll system will require some modifications prior to becoming fully operational.
This was a brief summary of the work performed and preliminary results on this important border crossing operational test at the Peace Bridge; and I'm willing to answer questions as time will allow.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Elias follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF JOSEPH ELIAS, PROGRAM MANAGER, CALSPAN OPERATIONS, BUFFALO, NY
This testimony describes Calspan's responsibilities and accomplishments on the Intelligent Transportation Border Crossing System (ITBCS) Field Operational Test. From November 1996 through May of 1998, this test was conducted at the Peace Bridge, an international border crossing connecting Buffalo, NY with Fort Erie, Ontario. Calspan served as the prime contractor; our principal subcontractors were TransCore and Mark IV-IVHS Division. Together, we designed, installed, tested, and maintained this electronic border crossing test system. The total contract value was $2.1M.
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The objective of the test was to determine the operational and technical feasibility of using electronic clearance methods to perform these four functions:
passenger vehicle immigration clearance,
passenger vehicle electronic toll collection,
commercial vehicle customs and immigration clearance, referred to as NATAP, and
commercial vehicle electronic toll collection.
There were 11 agencies involved in the establishment of the detailed test requirements. These 11 stakeholders were:
Peace Bridge Authority
US Federal Highway Administration
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Ontario Ministry of Transportation
Michigan Department of Transportation
Detroit International Bridge Commission
The primary stakeholders among these 11 agencies were US Treasury and Revenue Canada; US Immigration and Canada Immigration; and the Peace Bridge Authority.
We started the project with a set of preliminary requirements provided in the request for proposal. We then refined these requirements and developed a detailed design, that incorporated an architecture that utilizes core elements to perform common functions. This architecture provides significant cost benefits; however, each major ITBCS system included many unique elements, requiring specialized implementation.
ITBCS SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE
The key element of the ITBCS system is the Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) equipment that provides the wireless communication link between the vehicle and the roadside. The purpose of this link is identify each vehicle as it passes specific border crossing locations. The vehicle ID is then used to extract database information for clearance determination. Mark IV-IVHS, of Mississauga, Ontario provided all of the transponders, antennas, and readers that comprise the DSRC equipment. Some of the DSRC equipment was specially built for this application, due to some of the project's requirements.
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The second major element of the ITBCS architecture is the computer systems that integrate the DSRC equipment into the overall border crossing system. These computers process the DSRC data and send it to the customs, immigration, and toll systems. They also receive data from the government application programs and send it to the DSRC system for transmission to the vehicle.
The basic architecture itself is not complex. The complexity results from issues concerning timing requirements, physical plaza constraints, environmental considerations, quantities of data, and system reliability. TransCore, a company with extensive Electronic Toll Collection integration experience, performed the border crossing computer system integration taking these issues into consideration.
An important feature, from a user perspective, of the ITBCS is the seamless use of electronic vehicle identification for customs, immigration, and toll collection. Individual vehicles need only one transponder for both toll collection and border clearance. This feature was implemented through use of dual purpose readers and transponders provided by Mark IV. This Field Operational Test has clearly demonstrated that a single commercial vehicle transponder can serve the multiple applications associated with commercial vehicle transport. The test also demonstrated the interoperability between the Highway 407, EZ Pass, and the Peace Bridge electronic toll systems.
The core set of ITBCS equipment is the transponders, antennas, and readers that comprise the DSRC equipment suite. Other equipment requirements are:
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Variable message signs
Vehicle Classification devices
Computers and computer networking equipment
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Application software to integrate the DSRC equipment for the four previously mentioned electronic clearance functions.
Calspan was responsible for the design and installation of the civil and electrical infrastructure. The civil work included mounting of the antennas and readers and installation of the communications fiber optic backbone, lane devices, and power distribution. The antennas are mounted in strategic overhead locations to provide specific coverage patterns to effectively read the transponders and write to the transponders. Lane- based antennas are mounted under canopies or on poles to cover small areas within a lane. Wide area antennas are mounted on poles or building structures to cover larger areas to accommodate varying travel paths or timing requirements.
SENTRI SYSTEM DESIGN
The primary focus of this testimony is the SENTRI system, used for passenger vehicle clearance. The Dedicated Commuter Lanes (DCL), installed at the Peace Bridge, identify transponder-equipped passenger vehicles. The Peace Bridge DCL implementation was based on a previous deployment at Otay Mesa, California. Lessons learned at Otay Mesa served as design input for this upgraded implementation at the Peace Bridge. Local Peace Bridge issues, such as, plaza layout, local operational procedures, and weather conditions, also dictated design changes.
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The test began in November of 1996. The first system to be installed was the NATAP system in May of 1997. It was followed by the commercial toll system in September of 1997. The Dedicated Commuter Lane and the passenger vehicle toll system were installed together in November of 1997 and began operation in March of 1998.
The NATAP system operated with limited participants for an entire year. The NATAP program office performed an evaluation, concluding that the concept of electronic clearance using the NATAP database was demonstrated. However, they had concerns about the robustness of the system. The prototype system for the operational test did not include the levels of redundancy required to meet the NATAP program office reliability requirements for an operational pilot.
The DCL system has been operating daily since it began operation in March. Currently, there are about 900 enrolled participants in the SENTRI system, but the lane can accommodate many more cars than are currently enrolled. The lane volumes will increase as the enrollment reaches the test limit of 1500 participants. Inspectors are becoming more familiar with the system each day. Normal operation requires minimal inspector training, with some specialized training required to recover from a system failure. During this initial operation, the DCL has repeatedly proven its capability to provide more effective enforcement than the manual inspection systems, with fewer delays.
Both the commercial and the passenger vehicle electronic toll collection systems have demonstrated benefits similar to those provided by neighboring electronic toll facilities. The simplified approach of using one transponder for both toll and border crossing clearance is a key element of the systems' success.
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A significant cost factor, well over half of the entire $2.1M project cost, was for development of the DSRC equipment integration software. This software interfaces the DSRC equipment with the lane devices and communicates with the various stakeholder databases. NATAP was a customized system developed specifically for this test. It required considerable development resources.
The Dedicated Commuter Lane system was a modification of a system that is currently in operation at Otay Mesa, California. Therefore, development costs were less than those for the NATAP system. However, many elements of the toll system development activities, in this prototype, were new development efforts.
The other major cost element was the equipment. These costs, including the civil and electrical infrastructure, were on the order of $800K.
No portion of the test has yet to become an established operational system. Plans are being made to make the auto toll system and the DCL system an established process. The commercial toll system will require some revisions prior to becoming fully operational. At this time, the US Treasury has not yet chosen an approach for a pilot system.
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Joseph A. Elias
Intelligent Transportation Systems
M.A., Mathematics, 1967
State University of New York at Buffalo
B.S., Mathematics, 1964
Undergraduate Computer Science
Page 124 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC State University of New York at Buffalo
Veridian, Calspan Operations
State University of New York At Buffalo
Graduate Teaching Assistant
Page 125 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCTransportation
Mr. Elias is a senior member of Calspan's Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Business Unit. He has broad responsibilities within ITS. These responsibilities include business development, project management, technical administration, and systems engineering. Calspan's Intelligent Transportation Systems Business Unit serves both government and commercial customers. Calspan's ITS products and services apply to the following ITS areas: border crossing systems, commercial vehicle safety systems, automated collision notification and mayday systems, collision avoidance systems, and crash reporting systems.
Mr. Elias is currently the program manager of the Intelligent Transportation Border Crossing System (ITBCS) Field Operational Test at the Buffalo and Ft. Erie Peace Bridge. The objective of this $2.1M, 18 month, program is to determine the technical and operational feasibility of electronic clearance for customs, immigration, and tolls. The electronic clearance system uses Dedicated Short Range Communications to identify vehicles, drivers, and passengers. Customs, immigration, and toll databases are then accessed to determine the appropriate clearance status. The program was financed and managed through an international steering committee. Mr. Elias has managed all administrative and technical aspects of the program. He participated directly in the requirements definition phase of the program.
Mr. Elias has also served as Calspan's program manager for two ITS Early Deployment programs: the Buffalo/Niagara Falls Early Deployment and the Bronx-Manhattan Early Deployment Program Calspan had task responsibilities in the areas of communications architecture and user service requirements.
Page 126 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC He is currently the program manager for Calspan's portion of the ITS Program Assessment (IPAS) contract. Calspan is providing on-site test engineering support for San Antonio's Model Deployment Initiative. They are also providing support to the evaluation of the Minnesota CVISN program.
During 199394, Mr. Elias served as the program manager for the FHWA Precursor Systems Analysis of Automated Highway Systems program. This $3M program studied the feasibility of using fully automated vehicle control as a means of providing higher levels of safety and mobility than the conventional systems provided. Some of the prominent research topics were traffic modeling, traffic controls, transportation management center operations, travel demand analysis, commercial and transit ITS activities, cost and benefits analysis, and organizational development and operation. A precursor to this study was another Calspan program on Automated Highway Systems. This 1977-78 program was also led by Mr. Elias. He supervised personnel involved in econometric analysis, highway design, automobile design, and traffic control logic.
Mr. Elias has extensive experience in large-scale program management, both within Calspan and on-loan to CUBRC. During 1988-1991, he was the deputy program manager of the Expert Science and Engineering program. The focus of the program was academic and applied research in information processing. He was responsible for the day-to-day operations that involved over 30 subcontractors. Research areas included software reliability, computer processor development, and command and control algorithm development.
Page 127 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In the early 1980s, Mr. Elias has worked on the design, development, and implementation of a management information system for a mobile telephone system. The purpose of the system was to provide telephone company engineers and administrators with the necessary information to provide effective short and long term service. He performed the design phase of the project by interacting with system users and computer analysts. The system utilizes a database management system for data storage and retrieval. Mr. Elias both developed code and supervised coding. He performed the evaluation testing and implementation of the system.
Mr. Elias also possesses an extensive background in computer-assisted property valuation projects. He has served as project leader of a variety of computer systems design, development and implementation projects in this area. The system design effort entails determining user requirements and translating them to specific computerized procedures. Mr. Elias combines his extensive experience in the area of property appraisal, office procedures, mathematics and statistical techniques, and computer systems to provide the most effective system design. Mr. Elias has been directly involved in the system development effort. He has written code, supervised code developed, performed evaluation testing, and has primary responsibility for implementing these systems. In addition, he has installed systems at various computer centers, written ''user friendly'' documentation, presented formal training classes, and worked with users during hands-on training sessions.
Ballistic Missile Defense
From 19681975, Mr. Elias played a strong technical role as an analyst in the ballistic missile defense area. He was responsible for reduction and analysis of radar measurements from reentry vehicles. The purpose of this analysis was to obtain information about the vehicle characteristics, with particular emphasis on the first and second moments of the wake velocity spectrum. Information from this analysis has been used in the search for techniques to discriminate reentry vehicles from decoys. Analysis techniques included in this activity included multiple regression analysis, smoothing, modeling, and simulation. Computer applications of these techniques were used throughout the analysis. Mr. Elias wrote many reports describing his results and presented his results at many technical seminars.
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1. J. A. Elias, ''Analysis of L-Band Radar Measurements of Near Wake Velocity (U),'' Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory Report No. UB-1376-S-210, September 1971 (SECRET).
2. J. A. Elias and K. R. Edwards, ''Analysis of M 7 Sphere Data (U),'' Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory Report No. UB 1376 S 214, September 1971 (SECRET).
3. J. A. Elias, J. E. Garberoglio, and M. Halseth, ''Analysis of Low Altitude Wake Velocity Measurements with Emphasis on the End-of-Wake Position (U),'' Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory Report No. TD-5048-S-4, September 1972 (SECRET).
4. J. A. Elias and M. Farber, ''Recent Wake Velocity Observations at Mid and Low Altitudes (U).'' Paper presented at the AIAA Joint Strategic Sciences Meeting, January 1974 (SECRET).
5. J. A. Elias, ''Practicality of Automated Highway System,'' Volumes I, II, and III, Federal Highway Administration Report No. FAWA-RD-79-39, November 1977.
6. J. A. Elias, ''Autoplex Data Management System Engineering and Service Measurements Requirements Document,'' March 1983.
7. J. A. Elias, ''Autoplex Data Management System Engineering and Service Measurements Requirements Document'', June 1983.
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8. J. Gawron, D. A. Mailhot, J. R. Gucwa, S. Doughtie, and J. A. Elias, ''Technology Development Program Data Base Final Report,'' Calspan Report No. 7723-3, December 1989.
9. J. A. Elias, ''Precursor Systems Analysis of Automated Highway Systems'', Final Report, FHWA-TS 95-119 through FHWA-TS 95-134, November 1994.
1. J. A. Elias, ''Interim Progress on Precursor Systems Analysis of Automated Highway Systems'', presented at Fourth Annual Meeting of IVHS America, April 1720, 1994.
2. J. A. Elias, ''Interim Progress on Precursor System Analysis of Automated Highway Systems'', presented at AUVS '94 Meeting, May 24 - 25, 1994.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Elias.
STATEMENT OF ANTHONY BRAUNSCHEIDEL, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, PEACE BRIDGE AUTHORITY, BUFFALO, NY
Page 130 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BRAUNSCHEIDEL. Thank you, Congressman, for the invitation to the Peace Bridge to come and speak before the committee. I'll give you a bit of an overview of our organization. Some of the driving forces which prompted the Peace Bridge to look at advanced technology and also specifically what experience we've had with advanced technology.
We're located at the Buffalo/Ft. Erie Niagara river crossing and we're a significant link to both commercial and general travelers and trade. In fact, last year we serviced over 1.2 million commercial vehicles at the Peace Bridge, and 6.5 million automobiles. Access to the Peace Bridge has been opened in 1927 and since then there's been more than 300 million crossings at our bridge.
In terms of international trade, there's more than $80 million a day that comes across the bridge. That equates to $30 billion annually, which is representative of 15 percent of the total northern border trade between the two largest trading partners in the world.
As a result, Peace Bridge is implementing a capital improvement plan really of historic proportions. We're implementing a 10 year capital improvement plan, investing over $200 million into fixed infrastructure. Part of our strategic plan involves the evaluation of advanced technology, and some of the forces that have driven us to look at advanced technology are capacity constraints, such as the traffic increases. Since implementation of NAFTA in 1990, we've seen a 50 percent increase in commercial traffic at the Peace Bridge. We have physical constraints and we have traffic projections that our current volumes will double by the year 2020. There are throughput demands placed on us in the area of just-in-time manufacturing; manufacturers have plants both in Ontario and in New York and the fixed infrastructure between those plants literally becomes part of the manufacturing process.
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There's a need for predictable travel times to facilitate cross border assembly. And in this era of decreasing governmental resources, we're all forced to do a little more with less.
There's financial cost implications. The cost of new construction is high with long lead times, and the ability to properly service debt is a must for the Peace Bridge. There's been several programs and agreements that have to come into play over the last several years that have also driven us to look at advanced technology. NAFTA is one. The U.S./Canada accord is another; NATAP, the North American Trade Automation Prototype; the SENTRI system; and electronic toll collection systems on either side of the border are forcing us to look at advanced technology.
What have we done specifically with advanced technology? Joe has given you a bit of an overview as to what we have done with the Intelligent Transportation Border Crossing project that involved 11 agencies from both the U.S. and Canada, expending over $2 million to investigate the applications of advanced technology to the border crossing process.
I'll give you the most significant finding from this experiment and that's that institutional challenges create far greater challenges than the technical. Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) deployment is done today in an environment where multiple applications using a single device is not only a reality but it's a necessity. Practical solutions are available. It's been proven in our testing of both commercial vehicles and automobiles, but administrative agreements must be put inter place in order to make these inter-operability efforts and operational reality.
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The border crossing is a place where multiple institutional missions converge and efforts to optimize one mission is likely to come at the expense of another. So these organizational issues present the greatest challenges when making decisions with respect to the use of Dedicated Short-Range Communications.
I know this is a brief overview and it has really served to underscore the significance of the Peace Bridge in terms of international trade at the northern border, as well as highlight the forces pushing toward the use of advanced technology. The tests of Dedicated Short-Range Communications at the Peace Bridge have produced many positive results as well as serious challenges with respect to the deployment of this technology to the border crossing process.
Thank you for your time, and I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Braunscheidel follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF ANTHONY BRAUNSCHEIDEL, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, PEACE BRIDGE AUTHORITY, BUFFALO, NY
Buffalo & Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority
Page 133 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Buffalo & Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority, referred to as the Peace Bridge, is located near the center of downtown Buffalo, NY and connects to Fort Erie, Ontario, at the Niagara River crossing. The authority's principle asset and source of revenue is the Peace Bridge. In accordance with its legislation, the Peace Bridge operates without share capital; all current and future surpluses are committed to capital projects and repayment of outstanding bonds. In addition to providing a link for passenger car traffic, the Peace Bridge is a vital link to long distance commercial freight carriers, communication conduits, and general international travel and trade. The Peace Bridge was opened to traffic in 1927 and has accommodated over 300 million crossings. As the second largest international border crossing between the US and Canada, the Peace Bridge handled over 1.3 million commercial and 6.3 million passenger crossings in 1997 alone. In terms of international trade value, more than $80 million a day in merchandise trade crosses at this port, totaling more than $30 billion annually. These figures represent approximately 15% of the total value of trade between the two largest trading partners in the world.
Since 1990 commercial traffic has increased more than 50% as a result of NAFTA and other regional agreements. As a result, the Peace Bridge Authority is implementing a capital improvement plan of historic proportions. Not since the construction of the existing bridge in 1927 has so much activity taken place. To meet its role in international trade, travel, and tourism, the Peace Bridge is preparing for the twenty- first century by reconstructing and expanding the United States and Canadian Plazas, building a companion span, constructing a pre-arrival facility to streamline commercial vehicle processing into the United States, and testing new intelligent transportation systems in traffic management and customs/immigration clearance.
Page 134 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCINTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION BORDER CROSSING SYSTEM (ITBCS) DEVELOPMENT
The Peace Bridge along with eleven other agencies from the United States and Canada have been working cooperatively over the last two years to develop and implement a communications system which tests the concept of seamless or non-stop border crossing. This system is essentially a core communications backbone which routs messages from moving vehicles to resident government computer systems, thereby allowing a single entity to communicate simultaneously with multiple agencies via common technology.
Collectively the agencies involved have chosen to call this project the Intelligent Transportation Border Crossing System. ITBCS uses wireless (Dedicated Short Range Communications) methods for transmitting messages to and from moving vehicles. This technology is in use today at many toll authorities and is not new, however, the application beyond electronic toll collection (ETC) to Customs border cargo and Immigration clearance is relatively new. This application has been developed where agencies with very different missions and mandates have utilized a common communications platform for processing goods and people at the border.
Prior to the Peace Bridge field operational test, Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) had supported commercial and passenger vehicles in the areas of vehicle clearance, safety, and electronic toll collection. Current efforts are designed to test the functionality of using Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to expedite auto and commercial traffic through customs and immigration at land border crossings.
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Appreciating that DSRC, an element of ITS, has potential ancillary uses outside the primary application, successful implementation of ITS at border crossings is predicated on strong interagency cooperation. Eleven agencies currently have some level of involvement in the project: US Treasury, US Immigration, New York State Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Peace Bridge Authority, Revenue Canada, Canada Immigration, Transport Canada, Ministry of Transportation Ontario, Detroit International Bridge Company, and the Michigan Department Of Transportation.
Implementation of new technology produces challenges in any organization. Implementation of new technology at the border crossing amongst several government agencies with differing institutional missions produces great challenge. The North American Trade Automation Prototype initiative involved three countries (United States, Canada and Mexico) at several border crossings simultaneously. Even the passenger initiatives between United States and Canada present some cultural issues between two very similar countries. Creating the seamless border therefore requires developing standardized procedures and harmonized processes.
Probably the most fundamental institutional issue regarding the use of DSRC technology pertains to the desire for interoperability by both the provider and user. Interoperability suggests that one device, in our case the transponder, may be used with other agency applications. Technically, solutions are available today which enable several different transponder types to be read at a single facility. The test of DSRC at the Peace Bridge demonstrated this in both the automobile and commercial tests. However, true interoperability requires that administrative agreements among agencies be in place in order to take complete advantage of today's technology. For example, the Peace Bridge receives the vast majority of northbound traffic from the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA). The NYSTA is a member of the Inter Agency Group (IAG) which is no doubt, the single largest group deploying DSRC tags for electronic toll collection in the country. In light of this large installed base of tags and the knowledge that some portion of those people will cross the bridge as well, efforts are underway with the IAG to form interoperability agreements so that tags being used for Thruway toll collection will also be practical for border clearance.
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The importance of facilitating traffic and trade at the northern border is evidenced by the agency funding contributions in both countries as noted:
Federal Highway AdministrationOffice of Motor Carriers$1.57 million
Transport Canada$250,000 (CAN)
Revenue Canada$250,000 (CAN)
Ministry of Transportation Ontario$250,000 (CAN)
Contractual agreements between the above and the Peace Bridge resulted in the PBA acting as contracting agent on behalf of all the agencies involved with the project.
ITS DRIVING FORCES
What prompted the Peace Bridge Authority to explore the use of advanced technology at the border?
Commercial traffic increases, gaming impacts, physical constraints, bridge deck conditions and projections of commercial traffic doubling by 2020 have all placed either a need or concern for additional capacity.
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In this day of Just-In-Time delivery, inventory resides in the backs of trucks on the road. Clearly, the fixed infrastructure between manufacturing plants in New York and Ontario become part of the assembly line. Cross border assembly is facilitated by the efficiency of the border gateway with respect to predictable travel times. Also, in this era of decreasing governmental resources and increased demand, border agencies are forced to do more with less.
Construction of new facilities is expensive. New facilities require investments in maintenance. Moreover, the impact of construction and maintenance activities in general may result in adverse short term revenue impacts. Time lines are lengthy when considering major capital improvements. Beginning the environmental process, holding public meetings, analyzing comments and beginning design can take several years in large projects. The ability to maintain existing and predicted traffic volumes is essential in order to properly service debt.
Other factors contributing to the desire of the Peace Bridge to look at advanced technology are:
Ability to support the local economies of Buffalo and Fort Erie by providing an efficient conduit for travelers and trade.
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NAFTA, which has significantly impacted the volume of commercial vehicles, calls for cooperation and the harmonization of the documentation and procedures used in trade.
Development of internal information systems and a desire to keep pace with current technology.
Ambassador Bridge Company's desire to implement similar technology at the Detroit, MI / Windsor, Ontario crossing.
NATAPTrilateral initiative by the heads of customs in the US, Canada and Mexico.
Tests for Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI), the southern border technology, were successful which encouraged a similar deployment on the northern border.
DSRC technology is moving from acceptance to expectance. There is a large amount of this technology installed in both commercial and non-commercial vehicles and drivers expect to use it in place of traditional means. The IAG EZ PASS in New York, Highway 407Ontario's first all electronic toll road-and other systems have placed the Peace Bridge in a position where customer demand for automatic vehicle identification is high.
The US/Canada Accord on Our Shared Border seeks to promote international trade while providing enhanced protection against drugs, smuggling and the illegal and irregular movement of people. Facilitation of the movement of people at reduced costs to both the government and users are objectives under the Accord and are objectives of the Peace Bridge through the use of advanced technology as well.
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Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Braunscheidel.
I do have a quick question for you and perhaps for Mr. Elias. In your written testimony, you say that ''Customer demand for automatic vehicle identification is high at Peace Bridge.'' What did you mean by that and is that an indicator that people would be receptive to some new technology?
Mr. BRAUNSCHEIDEL. What I'm referring to there, Chairman, is the large installed base of Dedicated Short-Range Communications equipment on the New York State thruway system. Ninety percent of the traffic that crosses Peace Bridge comes from the New York State thruway system. They have tags just like this. In fact, there's over 500,000 tags in circulation in the thruway system used for toll collection. So the demand for AVI technology is high in that the customer has a desire to use this tag, not only for toll collection on a thruway system, but toll collection on the Peace Bridge and for immigration clearance at the border process.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you. Mr. Mocny, in regard, is it SENTRI or SENTRI?
Mr. MOCNY. SENTRI.
Mr. SMITH. SENTRI. That just sounds more familiar I guess.
Mr. MOCNY. Right.
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Mr. SMITH. In regard to the SENTRI program, I know that you haven't yet detected whether there were any individuals involved in the SENTRI program that were plying their trade in illegal drugs. Is there a way to detect lower level risk individuals through the SENTRI program?
Mr. MOCNY. Yes, through the application process there is an extensive review before the person is put into the system. So they go through, as I stated in my testimony, the Immigration record checks as well as Customs record checks. But they're also fingerprinted and the fingerprints are sent to the FBI. So we have a definitive response as best we can tell the low-risk status. Those databases are then updated on a daily basis to check for wants and warrants and then the person has to reapply every year.
Mr. SMITH. Okay. And Mr. O'Gorman, in regard to the SENTRI program, if individuals were found who had violated the laws, how would they be able to be excluded from the SENTRI program in the future?
Mr. O'GORMAN. We would take action to first remove the transponders from their vehicles. We would make notations in the SENTRI database about them individually to identify them as no longer being eligible for participation in the program. Another thing that we do is even for relatively minor violations we would be fairly strict in imposing penalties. There would be no consideration for mitigation because they are informed participants in the program.
Mr. SMITH. Okay, you anticipated my second question with that answer. Okay. I'm afraid this has been a little bit briefer than we might have expected. I, again, appreciate your indulgence and willingness to speak a little bit faster or shorter than you might have otherwise. All this is very good for our record. You did hear me say earlier today, perhaps we will probably be having another hearing during the course of the next year. You all, I hope, will have another opportunity to update your testimony, and we appreciate very much your being here today as well.
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So thank you all.
[Whereupon, at 12:11 p.m., the subcommittee adjourned subject to the call of the Chair.]