Naturalizations handed out, despite incomplete fingerprint records
With the November elections fewer than 40 days away, the Department of Homeland Security is approving as many citizenship applications as it can to try to increase the number of voters.
So says an internal memo obtained recently by Senate Republicans.
It comes amid a DHS inspector general report that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) erroneously granted citizenship to at least 858 illegal immigrants from “special interest countries,” meaning countries with connections to terrorism, who had previously been ordered deported. It was later revealed the number was actually more than 1,800 aliens.
The mistake was made because of incomplete fingerprint records: Neither the digital fingerprint repository at DHS nor the one at the FBI contains all of the old fingerprint records of people previously deported.
In DHS’s case, paper-based fingerprint cards used prior to 2008 were not consistently digitized and uploaded to the new repository. Also, in the past, fingerprints collected during immigration enforcement encounters were not always forwarded to the FBI, which explains why the bureau also doesn’t have all of them.