According to an internal Homeland Security audit released on Monday, the U.S. government mistakenly granted citizenship to more than 850 immigrants who had pending deportation orders. These immigrants were from “countries of concern to national security or had high rates of immigration fraud,” the report from Department’s Inspector General (IG) stated.
Immigrants fingerprints missing from federal database
According to ABC News, the IG found that many of the immigrants used different names to apply for U.S. citizenship, and the discrepancies were not identified due to their fingerprints being missing from a federal database.
Unclear what the government will do about mistake
The report said that federal prosecutors have initiated two cases that led to immigrants being stripped of their citizenship. It is not clear what the status is of other immigrants that have been identified in this case, or how many might lose their citizenship. At least three of the immigrants in question were able to acquire aviation or transportation worker credentials giving them access to secure areas in airports. The credentials have since been revoked.
While the report has been in the works for some time, its release following the weekend of terrorist related events in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota is bound to create criticism on how the immigration program is being managed.
Sen. Cruz calls for end to the Middle East refugee program
Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday called for an end to President Obama’s Middle East refugee program. Cruz said he will ask Congress “to prevent Americans who have traveled abroad for training from returning here, and to stop the flow of refugees from hotbeds of terrorism in the Middle East.”
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump blamed the weekend’s terror events on the immigration policies of the administration.
These attacks and many others were made possible because of our extremely open immigration system, which fails to properly vet and screen the individuals coming into our country. We have seen how failures to screen those who are entering the U.S. puts all of our citizens, everyone in this room, in danger.
— Donald Trump
Likely issue at next week’s debate
Hillary Clinton said that Mr. Trump’s “previous remarks on terrorism and Muslim immigration have sowed division and promoted the narrative that the West was at war with Islam.” The subject of immigration and terrorism is likely to be a central issue at next Monday’s debate between the two presidential candidates.