Update: Since this article was originally published, new reports have emerged that the number of individuals erroneously granted citizenship is at least 1,800. Conservative Review will continue to monitor this story as it develops.
It’s bad enough that individuals like the Somali stabber in St. Cloud, MN and the Afghani bombing suspect in Elizabeth, NJ were brought into the country and granted citizenship. Now the DHS Inspector General is warning that a number of immigrants from “special interest countries” who were ordered deported, were wrongly granted citizenship.
The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (OIG) today released a report that found that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) granted U.S. citizenship to at least 858 individuals from special interest countries who had been ordered deported or removed under another name. This happened because neither the digital fingerprint repository at DHS nor the repository at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) contains all old fingerprint records of individuals previously deported.
In the new report, “Potentially Ineligible Individuals Have Been Granted U.S.
Citizenship Because of Incomplete Fingerprint Records,” OIG found that the records are missing from the DHS digital repository because paper-based fingerprint cards used prior to 2008 were not consistently digitized and uploaded into the repository. The FBI repository is also missing records because, in the past, fingerprints collected during immigration enforcement encounters were not always forwarded to the FBI. Currently, about 148,000 fingerprint records of aliens from special interest countries who had final deportation orders or who are criminals or fugitives have yet to be digitized.
Remember, many immigrants who would be eligible for citizenship initially came here before the now-defunct Immigration and Naturalization Service was rolled into DHS. They are a part of the 148,000 fingerprint records that were never transferred over into DHS databases, compromising the ability of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to monitor which aliens were ordered deported when approving applications for citizenship.
Page three of Inspector General John Roth’s report cuts to the core of the problem with this oversight — assuming it is simply an oversight:
As long as the older fingerprint records have not been digitized and included in the repositories, USCIS risks making naturalization decisions without complete information and, as a result, naturalizing more individuals who may be ineligible for citizenship or who may be trying to obtain U.S. citizenship fraudulently. As naturalized citizens, these individuals retain many of the rights and privileges of U.S. citizenship, including serving in law enforcement, obtaining a security clearance, and sponsoring other aliens’ family members’ entry into the United States.
Oh, and voting rights too. Anyone think these people are voting for Republicans?
It is this literal theft I had in mind when I warned in Stolen Sovereigntyabout the irresponsible moves of the executive and judicial branches in violating the sovereignty of the citizen. Whether it’s granting unqualified birthright citizenship, preventing states from asking for identification before granting citizenship to children born here, counting illegals in the census, resettling refugees without the consent of local communities, , allowing non-citizens to vote, tolerating fraud in the naturalization process or refusing to deport criminal aliens, the citizens of this country have been disenfranchised time and time again.
Moreover, when viewed through the prism of our current security predicament, consider the following: these individuals are known to have engaged in identity fraud, have already been ordered deported — which means they are likely criminal aliens — AND are from “special interest countries.” As you let that thought sink in, now consider that they already have citizenship in their back pocket, and the rights inherent in being an American.
What has happened to this individuals? One would expect them to be de-naturalized immediately, pursuant to 8 USC 1451(a), which authorizes a court to revoke citizenship through criminal or civil proceedings. As I detail in chapter four of Stolen Sovereignty, our nation has a long history of quickly expatriating individuals whenever the law stipulated that immigrants were no longer here in accordance with national consent. Unfortunately, times have changed.
More from the IG’s report:
However, few of these individuals have been investigated and subsequently denaturalized. As it identified these 1,029 individuals, OPS referred the cases to ICE for investigation. As of March 2015, ICE had closed 90 investigations of these individuals and had 32 open investigations. The Offices of the United States Attorneys (USAO) accepted 2 cases for criminal prosecution, which could lead to denaturalization; the USAO declined 26 cases.
In other words, beyond a handful of cases, these people have never been de-naturalized, much less deported for multiple accounts of fraud (on top of being ordered deported in the first place!).
Raise your hand if you believe DHS will begin immediately combing through the list of 148,000 names whose finger prints have not been placed in the databases used by USCIS. Now raise your other hand if you believe the people’s representatives in Congress, which were purposely vested with the full power over immigration and naturalization, will lift a finger to force DHS to clean up its act.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.