Skip to main content

Immigration is joining the digital age with new plans from the White House

immigration joins digital age white house
Image used with permission by copyright holder
It’s taken nearly 300 years, but one of the oldest practices in the United States is finally joining the digital age. In a blog post last week, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) declared that the American immigration system would finally be joining the 21st century and enjoying all the tech benefits that have come with the times.

It is estimated that in 2013, immigrants comprised a staggering 13 percent of the total American population, and the U.S. attracted 20 percent of the international migrant population. And despite the fact that one in four Americans are now immigrants or children of immigrants, the process behind immigration remains frightfully archaic. In fact, as per the OMB’s report, “Currently, the process to apply for a visa is complex, paper-based, and confusing to the user. Many immigration documents pass through various computer systems and change hands no fewer than six times.” But now, all that is changing.

At the request of the U.S. Digital Service (USDS), a specially curated team of engineers and designers set out on a project with the Departments of State and Homeland Security that spanned the course of a month. In their assessment of the current immigration landscape and recommendations on what could and needed to be improved, they ultimately devised a pilot program that, the OMB says, is “set to launch at over six major consular posts this summer, which will bring as much of this visa process online as possible.”

Under the leadership of former Google engineer Mikey Dickerson, the team recently released its final report, titled “Modernizing & Streamlining Our Legal Immigration System,” detailing ways in which the immigration process could be simplified from a technological and digital perspective, as well as how various agencies involved could better communicate with one another. As a whole, the team was stunned by the sheer amount of inefficiency the process in its current state boasted, with one White House official telling Wired, “As a group of technologists, that stuff just killed us. It’s insane we would do that in 2015. We invented these things called computers.”

Many of the recommendations Dickerson and the experts made are exacting, making it easy for agencies to implement and test. These include paying all fees associated with applying for a visa at once, as well as streamlining the process based on the applicant, not the government agency the applicant happens to be dealing with.

While the ultimate overhaul of the system is still yet to come, this marks a preliminary but incredibly important step in a revamping that is long overdue. So from the bottom of this first-generation American’s heart: Thanks, OMB.

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
This Alienware gaming laptop with RTX 4050 is $600 off
Alienware x14 R2

Gaming PC deals aren’t the kind of promotions you buy into simply because of the savings. Depending on your actual gameplay needs, you may require a machine that’s far more powerful than traditional gaming PCs. Or maybe you tend to stick to titles that require less performance capabilities.

Whatever the case may be, we felt it important to shine a light on this great Dell sale. Right now, you can take home the Alienware x14 R2 Gaming Laptop for just $1,200. You’ll save $600 off the laptop’s normal price, and you'll own a fast and efficient PC powerhouse from one of the most trusted names in the business.

Read more
OpenAI’s recent acquisition could change PCs forever
smartphone running chatgpt held above a keyboard

OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, has announced that it has acquired a startup company called Multi, indicating that some powerful new capabilities could be coming to its AI systems. Multi is an advanced screensharing and collaboration tool made specifically for software engineering teams in mind, allowing for features such as shared cursors and simultaneous screensharing with up to 10 people.

That startup is being shut down in its acquisition to OpenAI, however, having posted this statement on their blog:
"What if desktop computers were inherently multiplayer? What if the operating system placed people on equal footing to apps? Those were the questions we explored in building Multi, and before that, Remotion. Recently, we’ve been increasingly asking ourselves how we should work with computers. Not on or using computers, but truly with computers. With AI. We believe it’s one of the most important product questions of our time."
That's definitely some provocative positioning, especially in regard to making PCs "inherently multiplayer."

Read more
This great student laptop from HP is 45% off for a limited time
The HP Pavilion 15t-eg300 laptop against a white background.

We love HP laptop deals, and we're extra excited about how good this particular sale is. This is an HP exclusive for the HP Pavilion Laptop 15t with Intel Core i7-1355U. If you buy today, it can be yours for just $550, a $450 discount on its regular retail price of $1,000. Sleek and portable, this is an ideal back-to-school PC, but it’s also great for those of us in need of a fast and reliable machine for the office. After all, one must stay ahead of the curve when it comes to everyday tech.

Why you should buy the HP Pavilion laptop
Let’s get started with the core components. We mentioned this Pavilion model is powered by an Intel Core i7-1355U, but we didn’t talk about the CPU’s fundamentals. Equipped with 10 cores and 12 threads, and delivering speeds up to 5.0GHz, the Pavilion isn’t your run of the mill midrange laptop. In fact, that Intel chip has integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics, along with 16GB of RAM and up to 256GB of internal storage. Whether you plan on using it in the classroom, or need a laptop that can efficiently handle your video editing workflow, the HP Pavilion has you covered.

Read more