As if to further bolster warnings made by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump that the Obama administration has been too lax on national security issues, an internal Homeland Security audit indicated that at least 858 immigrants have been granted U.S. citizenship by mistake.
That number includes those that immigrated from countries with high rates of immigration fraud or from those with national security concerns, The Associated Press reported.
Clip via Fox News Channel
The Department of Homeland Security auditor who issued the report said that the immigrants used different names or dates of birth on their applications for citizenship, but that the discrepancies weren’t picked up until later.
The problem stems from the department’s transfer from paper-based files with traditional inked fingerprints to electronic0-based files.
The report also warned that when immigrants are naturalized, “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’ entry into the United States.”
As if in answer to this warning, some of those who gained U.S. citizenship by mistake acquired aviation or transportation authority credentials. One even became a law enforcement officer.
Fox News reported:
But the problem could be even worse. According to the audit, as of November 2015, the administration has found 953 more “who had final deportation orders under another identity and had been naturalized,” some of whom were from countries of concern.
DHS Inspector General John Roth also found fingerprints 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.
“This situation created opportunities for individuals to gain the rights and privileges of U.S. citizenship through fraud,” Roth said. “To prevent fraud and ensure thorough review of naturalization applications, USCIS needs access to these fingerprint records.”
The report comes out as authorities are investigating a string of terror-related attacks — bombings in New Jersey and New York, and a stabbing attack in Minnesota — all allegedly committed by immigrants.
The bombings suspect, an immigrant from Afghanistan, was apprehended Monday; the stabbing suspect, a Somali-American, was shot and killed at the scene.
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