According to a report, thousands at Miami International airport were stranded for hours when the system crashed. Often it breaks down for shorter periods of time.
In other cases visa applicants have been jailed overnight or barred from entering the United States because the ancient machines have ruled against them.
Apparently the agency's mainframes do not share data and are inaccessible. Homeland Security tried to upgrade to Microsoft's Windows 2000, but found that application incompatibilities meant it had to go back to Windows 95.
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