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DHS spends $1 billion and 10 years to digitize 1 immigration form

Mismanagement and incompetence continue to plague the Department of Homeland Security. After spending $1 billion in taxpayer money -- and working for over a decade -- the DHS has only digitized one immigration document out of over 100. The rest of the documents still have to be filled out and submitted via paper and mail.

The Washington Post reports:

Heaving under mountains of paperwork, the government has spent more than $1 billion trying to replace its antiquated approach to managing immigration with a system of digitized records, online applications and a full suite of nearly 100 electronic forms.

A decade in, all that officials have to show for the effort is a single form that’s now available for online applications and a single type of fee that immigrants pay electronically. The 94 other forms can be filed only with paper.

This project, run by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, was originally supposed to cost a half-billion dollars and be finished in 2013. Instead, it’s now projected to reach up to $3.1 billion and be done nearly four years from now, putting in jeopardy efforts to overhaul the nation’s immigration policies, handle immigrants already seeking citizenship and detect national security threats, according to documents and interviews with former and current federal officials.

The Internet has existed for nearly 25 years. Thousands of companies, organizations, and schools now offer online forms and applications. So why can’t the DHS digitize their immigrations forms after ten years and $1 billion?

The fact is that federal bureaucracies will always be wasteful, slow, and mismanaged. The fourth branch has grown so massive and unwieldy that even the simplest tasks require huge amounts of money and time. It’s time to trim the dead weight from our government and economy. An Article V Convention of States can propose constitutional amendments that shrink the federal leviathan -- both in terms of number of agencies and in terms of how much power those agencies possess.

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