In 2000, Congress directed the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to develop a plan to integrate the INS Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT) and the FBI Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) to enable quicker, more efficient, and more accurate background checks on illegal immigrants. The DOJ hired Northrop Grumman to support the physical integration effort; however, the DOJ also needed to understand the implications of new technology that would potentially lead to a substantial increase in the number of illegal immigrants apprehended by federal officials. Without proper planning and support, a significant increase in apprehensions could have resulted in an overburdened justice system unprepared to handle the corresponding need for additional detention space and personnel.
Northrop Grumman hired Fentress to support a multi-year study of the IDENT-IAFIS integration effort. Fentress provided extensive analytical support for numerous studies and analyses conducted during the course of the effort, including collecting data, participating in facilitated interviews with subject matter experts from DOJ agencies, and preparing operational impact assessments using simulation modeling.
The operational impact assessments provided by Fentress and Northrop Grumman over the course of several years enabled DOJ to properly and effectively plan for the impact of the new technology and avoid the potential catastrophic effects of not having the infrastructure in place to support the Congressional mandate.