Over 800 Immigrants Mistakenly Granted Citizenship

By Alicia A. Caldwell, Associated Press & KVIA.com:



The U.S. government has mistakenly granted citizenship to at least 858 immigrants from countries of concern to national security or with high rates of immigration fraud who had pending deportation orders, according to an internal Homeland Security audit released Monday.

The Homeland Security Department’s inspector general found that the immigrants used different names or birthdates to apply for citizenship with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and such discrepancies weren’t caught because their fingerprints were missing from government databases.

The report does not identify any of the immigrants by name, but Inspector General John Roth’s auditors said they were all from “special interest countries” – those that present a national security concern for the United States – or neighboring countries with high rates of immigration fraud. The report did not identify those countries.

In an emailed statement, the Department of Homeland Security said the findings reflect what has long been a problem for immigration officials – old paper-based records containing fingerprint information that can’t be searched electronically. DHS says immigration officials are in the process of uploading these files and that officials will review “every file” identified as a case of possible fraud.

Roth’s report said fingerprints are missing from federal databases for as many as 315,000 immigrants with final deportation orders or who are fugitive criminals. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has not reviewed about 148,000 of those immigrants’ files to add fingerprints to the digital record.

The gap was created because older, paper records were never added to fingerprint databases created by both the now-defunct Immigration and Naturalization Service and the FBI in the 1990s. ICE, the DHS agency responsible for finding and deporting immigrants living in the country illegally, didn’t consistently add digital fingerprint records of immigrants whom agents encountered until 2010.

The government has known about the information gap and its impact on naturalization decisions since at least 2008 when a Customs and Border Protection official identified 206 immigrants who used a different name or other biographical information to gain citizenship or other immigration benefits, though few cases have been investigated.

Roth’s report said federal prosecutors have accepted two criminal cases that led to the immigrants being stripped of their citizenship. But prosecutors declined another 26 cases. ICE is investigating 32 other cases after closing 90 investigations.

ICE officials told auditors that the agency hadn’t pursued many of these cases in the past because federal prosecutors “generally did not accept immigration benefits fraud cases.” ICE said the Justice Department has now agreed to focus on cases involving people who have acquired security clearances, jobs of public trust or other security credentials.

Mistakenly awarding citizenship to someone ordered deported can have serious consequences because U.S. citizens can typically apply for and receive security clearances or take security-sensitive jobs.

At least three of the immigrants-turned-citizens were able to acquire aviation or transportation worker credentials, granting them access to secure areas in airports or maritime facilities and vessels. Their credentials were revoked after they were identified as having been granted citizenship improperly, Roth said in his report. A fourth person is now a law enforcement officer.

Roth recommended that all of the outstanding cases be reviewed and fingerprints in those cases be added to the government’s database and that immigration enforcement officials create a system to evaluate each of the cases of immigrants who were improperly granted citizenship. DHS officials agreed with the recommendations and said the agency is working to implement the changes.


DHS employee car pool

The problem goes back to the 1990s where employees didn’t do their job consistently. Where were their supervisors and why wasn’t their work double-checked for accuracy like it is out here in the real world? After an official pointed out over 200 cases to them in 2008, they still didn’t jump on this and get it fixed. Again, the government not doing its job correctly in the first place, and others come along afterwards to do the mopping up, and again with the lack of accountability, meanwhile all the IG does is make recommendations.

Our country is full of unemployed people who would love to have those jobs. Every single one of those employees and their bosses should all be fired and replaced with people who will do their jobs. Since we never get the full truth from DHS and ICE, it’s safe to say that there were likely a lot more than 858 immigrants who are now citizens because of the government’s sloppy work. That’s just the number of cases the IG has uncovered so far.

How very magnanimous of our Justice Dept. to condescend to focus on these cases, after years of federal prosecutors ignoring them, however I doubt they’ll put much effort into it until after the election. Priorities, don’t you know.


Categories: Political

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6 replies

  1. How many fraudulent marriages of immigrants, whether illegally here or here on visas, are investigated by HHS or anybody?
    Yet, once they make charges of domestic violence they are awarded every available service including the lawyer to assist her with getting everything possible, even disabilty and citizenship, while the true victims of American citizens are denied any recourse or recovery of losses incurred, even the loss of relationship with their own children.
    Thanks a lot all you DamnitCrats!


    • Good points, WT. They never check into the marriages, because they know that somewhere along the way, they’ll collect a bit more in taxes and their number one reason is they just gained all those new dem (dim) voters.


  2. I’m not at all surprised, Kathy. I’m absolutely certain the reality is much worse than what’s been accidentally discovered. This is Trump’s subject and if he’s smart he’ll talk non-stop about this everywhere he goes until election day:

    #Obama: Have you caught the 858 yet?
    #Obama: Tell us how many it REALLY is?
    #Accountability: Where for art thou?
    #American Voters: You have the power to hold govt accountable. Use it!
    #American Voters: Let’s restore law and order.

    Just a few suggestions.


    • “if he’s smart…” being the key words there. He seems to be moving toward the left lately, so this would get him back on page that attracted supporters in the beginning. Good suggestions, CW.


  3. This story is almost too ludicrous to believe. How could this happen? It’s akin to Amex issuing nice fresh Black cards to 858 cardholders who were already being sued for non payment of previous bills. It’s very difficult to imagine any similar situation in the private business world, there would be checks and balances in place to prevent anything approaching this serious happening. But, our federal government, those who are supposed to be looking out for us, gave citizenship to people who should have been deported. Will any heads roll? I doubt it. This is just one more example of “our tax dollars at work.”


    • It’s happened because we have a lefty government that thrives on inefficiency and chaos. It allows mistakes like this to fall through the cracks, and when found out all they have to say is ‘oopsie!’ They start jobs they don’t finish and they change systems without completing the switch-over. For crying out loud, why were they still using paper records in the 90s, when the rest of the world was already computerized? We need those bulldozers our old friend Clyde used to mention!


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