By Joe Guzzardi
September 26, 2016
Americans searching for evidence that the federal government has control of its internal mechanisms to effectively carry out immigration law or secure its border got a jarring wake-up call recently. Two huge failures came to light which prove that, on immigration, the United States is dangerously incompetent.
In a stunning gaffe, the Department of Homeland Security gave U.S. citizenship to at least 858 illegal immigrants who had received final deportation orders. More alarming, the foreign nationals come from special interest countries that have vowed to destroy the U.S. The aliens were not particularly clever or resourceful; they simply falsified their names and birth dates when they applied for citizenship.
A blistering audit written by DHS Inspector General wrote that the glaring error with its frightening national security implications occurred 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.” According to Judicial Watch, nearly 150,000 fingerprints of criminal aliens from terrorist-friendly nations who had deportation orders are unavailable because they haven’t been digitized or are missing from government databases, and are therefore not available to an adjudication officer evaluating citizenship applications.
Worse, and unimaginable, federal authorities have been aware of the fingerprint identification gap since 2008 when Customs and Border Protection, which operates under DHS, learned that 206 aliens used fake names to obtain citizenship. Yet, during the intervening eight years, the Obama administration did nothing to correct the flaws. The fallout from the DHS’s dramatic ineptitude could have been tragic. Three of the aliens obtained employment in secure commercial airport or seaport areas, and a fourth is a law enforcement officer.
Despite its huge failure, DHS is in no hurry to digitize and upload current fingerprint records or to review the eligibility of fraudulently naturalized citizens. When DHS Inspector General John Roth questioned the agency about its timetable to secure its fingerprint system, the agency said only that it had “plans” to make changes. Denaturalizing a citizen is possible, but unlikely in the Obama administration and in today’s political climate.
In the meantime, more than 2,000 miles away from DHS Washington, D.C., headquarters, another group of foreign nationals has gathered at the Southwest border via Mexico to cross into the U.S. and claim political asylum. Haitians are rarely granted visas to enter the U.S., but can easily obtain them to travel to Central America. From there, smugglers take them through Mexico, and to the U.S. border where the migrants claim asylum.
Like Central American and African border surgers before them, Haitians have been coached on what to say to get into the U.S. – which is that they have “credible fear” of returning home. Asylum claims are rarely denied. Instead, the petitioner is allowed to stay pending his immigration court date which may be years away. The Haitian surge is so overwhelming that at the San Ysidro, California, port of entry, Customs and Border Protection agents have imposed a processing maximum of 150 daily applications.
The false citizenship and newest border influx are the latest examples in the Obama administration’s nonstop gutting of immigration enforcement. Although Obama has only a few months left in office, he could still do more damage to Americans through future unconstitutional executive actions that puts foreign nationals and illegal immigrants’ interests ahead of citizens.
A Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow, Joe can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.