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Tipsheet

Oops: Over 800 Immigrants From Countries Of National Security Concern Granted Citizenship

An internal review of the Department of Homeland Security has found that over 800 immigrants from countries that are considered to be national security risks, or high levels of immigration fraud, were granted citizenship by mistake, according to The Associated Press. The applicants used different names to apply and got through the cross referencing because the federal agency is missing their fingerprint data:

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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.

[…]

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.

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The news organization knew that there were holes in the data since 2008. This speaks to the heart of the issue regarding security measures regarding screening for migrants, especially the 10,000 Syrian refugees who have been resettled in the United States. Nearly 1,000 immigrants from nations that are considered to be a risk to our national security were granted citizenship; sleep well tonight, folks.

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