The US Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INS) is struggling to establish a new computer tracking system for every foreign visitor to the country.
College and university officials have complained that the INS has yet to train them to use its new system for tracking more than 500,000 foreign students, despite the fact that it is supposed to be running in less than three months.
The INS has also yet to install scanners at the US-Mexico border to read new high-tech border-crossing cards - or 'laser visas' - issued to millions of Mexican nationals.
Furious senators have accused the INS of living in a technological dark age.
Senator Jon Kyl slammed the agency for moving too slowly. "Protecting our nation's borders from terrorist infiltration is a serious enterprise and it should be treated as a top priority," he said.
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