How Rampant Bribery Is Corrupting U.S. Immigration Integrity?

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How Rampant Bribery Is Corrupting U.S. Immigration Integrity?

We recently came across an article, entitled HOW RAMPANT BRIBERY IS CORRUPTING U.S. IMMIGRATION INTEGRITY.

This article described two recent cases of corruption at U.S. Customs and Border Protection stations, as being indicative of a pervasive and systemic problem at the checkpoints pedestrians and vehicles pass through between the U.S. and Mexico.  In fact a recent government watchdog report has documented corruption cases among U.S. border and immigration agents, finding nearly 150 have been arrested or indicted since 2005.  Clearly both the US Federal Government as well as State Governments that border other countries or serve as border entry points into the US, must do a better job of both ongoing due diligence of their employees to mitigate the risks of “easy money” associated with narcotics trafficking, human smuggling and other crimes that enable criminal activities by a growing array of very bad actors.

In review of the recent government watchdog report referenced earlier, “Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security recently stated “Just one employee collaborating with a drug smuggler or terrorist can put our entire nation at risk.”

McCaul, who along with Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., requested the report, said one problem is that while the CBP now polygraphs all new hires, it does not follow up and test employees after they join.

Rep. McCaul went on to state in an interview with a major network news outlet that “The GAO report confirms that not only is corruption still a problem, CBP still lacks adequate controls to detect corruption, such as post-employment polygraphing,” and added that one CBP official stated that among those who become corrupt, the behavior sets in roughly 8.8 years into service.

It is also indicative of another greater alarming fact that is of particular value to enemies, both of the United States and in fact any country that struggles to enforce its own immigration and border protection laws, and to other organizations who struggle to protect their physical assets and their intellectual property and critical information assets… the need for ongoing Due Diligence and the implementation of Operational Security (OPSEC) Programs that in fact deter these ever growing array of bad actors who live for the thrill and financial gains associated with exploiting assets and information that do not belong to them.

So what can be done to arrest this condition? First in review of this news, it is critical to understand how narcotics traffickers, human smugglers and terrorists would use this information. Clearly this alarming trend serves as a green light for additional bad actors to attempt to exploit U.S. Border Security. News like this, frankly, emboldens them in their efforts to game the system.

Understanding how these events may be used to threaten both the economic and political structures of a country is the first step in effectively addressing this problem. And so too, is gaining an objective understanding concerning how criminals and other bad actors can exploit your organization’s physical and cyber security efforts, to cause similar risks to your organization’s financial and business security and to the value of your organization’s brand and intellectual property assets as well.

Objective assessment of threats and vulnerabilities that the firm faces both internally and externally as well as an objective risk assessment that covers ALL facets of your business is critical not only to your organization’s success and well being, but it is critical in helping to secure the underpinnings of the business environment that affects the local, national and international markets.

If bribery and corruption by insiders, or other criminal activities by employees effectively tarnish an organization, exactly how long would it be before such news erodes both financial and reputational stability of the firm?

When you hear of the malfeasance and/or incompetence that allows firms like Glaxo SmithKline (GSK) or other corporations to be plastered throughout the media for alleged bribery issues in China or elsewhere; or you hear of chronic or systemic problems at firms like JP Morgan Chase, HSBC or other heretofore trusted, respected and even venerated firms, what does that do to you as an existing customer of those firms? What about as a potential customer considering doing business with those firms?

We know as advisers to organizations in the field that shoring up of one’s internal and external security policies, procedures and processes always spikes with traumatic news affecting like organizations.

While addressing the issues of bribery and corruption that affect national security and border security issues can only be fully addressed by possessing the national political will to do so, likewise organizations in the private sector can only address issues affecting their physical, cyber or other security efforts through the implementation of a comprehensive, effective OPSEC processes to examine the good, the bad and the ugly of the organization’s present state.  An OPSEC assessment is an intensive application of the OPSEC process to an existing operation or activity by a multi-disciplined team of experts. Assessments are essential for identifying requirements for additional OPSEC measures and for making necessary changes in existing OPSEC measures.

So how badly do you want to protect your organization? Perhaps it’s time to perform a comprehensive, independent OPSEC Assessment within your organization?

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