Patterico's Pontifications


Oops! More Than 800 Illegal Immigrants Facing Deportation Mistakenly Granted Citizenship

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:31 pm

[guest post by Dana]

There is a report out today explaining how the U.S. mistakenly granted more than 800 illegal immigrants from unnamed countries of concern citizenship. Apparently, there was an inability to determine the authenticity of the names and birth dates on applications because the applicants’ fingerprints were missing from government databases:

The Homeland Security Department’s inspector general found the immigrants used different names or birthdates to apply for citizenship with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration. In the case of 858 immigrants from “special interest countries or neighboring countries with high rates of immigration fraud,” the 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.

DHS said the findings reflect what has long been a problem for immigration officials — old paper-based records containing fingerprint information that can’t be searched electronically. DHS says immigration officials are in the process of uploading these files and that officials will review “every file” identified as a case of possible fraud.

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.

The gap was created because older, paper records were never added to fingerprint databases created by both the now-defunct Immigration and Naturalization Service and the FBI in the 1990s. ICE, the DHS agency responsible for finding and deporting immigrants living in the country illegally, didn’t consistently add digital fingerprint records of immigrants whom agents encountered until 2010.

According to the report, the government has known about the information gap for at least 8 years.

As reminder, the dangers of an unvetted illegal immigrant being naturalized can be huge:

“[T]hese 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.”

According to the report, at least three “immigrants-turned-citizens” acquired aviation and transportation worker credentials, which then allowed them access to areas at airports and maritime facilities requiring a security clearance. Oh, and another “citizen” became a law enforcement officer.

With that, at this week’s United Nations General Assembly meeting, President Obama is expected to announce that the US will increase by 30% the number of immigrant refugees it accepts:

The Obama administration plans to raise the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. to 110,000 in the 2017 fiscal year starting Oct. 1, from 85,000 this fiscal year, according to an annual refugee report to Congress obtained by The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.


The 110,000 target for 2017 for individuals fleeing persecution and conflict around the world represents a nearly 30% increase over this fiscal year and an almost 60% increase over the 70,000 admitted in 2015.

After a closed session last week where John Kerry outlined the plan, Sen. Jeff Sessions confirmed what we already know:

“[The] common-sense concerns of the American people are simply ignored as the administration expands its reckless and extreme policies.”

And of course, the risk of admitting refugees from certain parts of the world is increased by the inability to thoroughly vet them.

Coincidentally, the report was released on the same day that bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami, a naturalized American citizen who was born in Afghanistan, was captured.

Also today, after accusing Donald Trump of helping recruit for ISIS, Hillary Clinton called for a more serious scrutiny of those hoping to settle in the U.S.:

I am absolutely in favor of and have long been an advocate for tough vetting…

We need a better visa system. Let’s remember what happened on 9/11. These were not refugees who got into airplanes and attacked our city and our country.

She provided no details of what this tougher vetting would look like.


40 Responses to “Oops! More Than 800 Illegal Immigrants Facing Deportation Mistakenly Granted Citizenship”

  1. We are the government, and there is nothing we can’t screw up.

    Dana (995455)

  2. Jonah Goldberg, commenting on this, quoted Ronald Coase:

    If a federal program were established to give financial assistance to Boy Scouts to enable them to help old ladies cross busy intersections, we could be sure that not all the money would go to Boy Scouts, that some of those they helped would be neither old nor ladies, that part of the program would be devoted to preventing old ladies from crossing busy intersections, and that many of them would be killed because they would now cross at places where, unsupervised, they were at least permitted to cross.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  3. Question, not directly related to vetting:
    What documentation is an immigrant supposed to show, when starting the naturalization process, to prove they are here legally?

    Kishnevi (050eae)

  4. well there would be an entry visa, as a prerequisite for a green card no, of course one should keep the registry of visas up to date,

    narciso (d1f714)

  5. When can we have more articles like “What Republicans Don’t Get About the Vetting Process,” and “John Oliver Explains the Vetting Process to the GOP.”?

    They all contained assuring remarks about how “through” and “rigorous” the vetting process was.

    Its been almost a year since they dropped off the pages, right after San Bernardino. I really miss that smug certainty, and I hope the little matter of a mall stabbing and a NY explosion isn’t going to keep them away much longer.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (5e0a82)

  6. Legal immigrants to the back of the line. And, of course, for the sake of class diversity (e.g. racism), the People and our Posterity (i.e. babies), too.

    n.n (15156f)

  7. this is so disheartening plus they probably have diseases

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  8. To be fair, Obama and Clinton’s social justice adventurism, progressive wars, anti-native policies, and trickle-up poverty are first-order causes of catastrophic anthropogenic government whoring, created and saved terrorist organizations (e.g. Libya-ISIS Affair), and the progress of diverse refugee crises to become global humanitarian disasters.

    n.n (15156f)

  9. how do applications go forward without fingerprints, rhetorical question,

    narciso (d1f714)

  10. We are no longer the melting pot. We are the exploding crock pot.

    Ed from SFV (3400a5)

  11. At least bureaucratic errors under Donald Trump’s regime will tend toward extra deportations.

    Denver Guy (4750ec)

  12. Easy work if you can l it:

    50 days, debate prep takes priority, and beauty rest.

    DNF (ffe548)

  13. The way I look at it, if we are just 10% better regarding immigration than the nation of origin, that’s a win.

    What I suspect is that the Left literally cannot say that the way we treat immigrants is better than another nation’s.

    Their heads would blow up like in “Scanners.”

    Simon Jester (3dbc42)

  14. Today Ruski/Syrian airstrike hits UN:

    Aleppo activists say 12 aid workers killed in airstrike on the UN convoy, and 18 more injured. Syrian Red Crescent director among the dead.

    But when we did it the other day killing 60 Syrian soldiers it was an accident.


    DNF (ffe548)

  15. @ Bob23 (#15): I’m really not sure what your comment means, but it made me think of this caricature of Trump.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  16. ^^^ Belated trigger warning: nudity, revolting content; NSFW.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  17. Aleppo activists say 12 aid workers killed in airstrike on the UN convoy, and 18 more injured. Syrian Red Crescent director among the dead.

    This is probably on purpose. The Russians have no intention of allowing any actual food to get into Aleppo. They were warned by Kerry that if this did not happen, the next part of the agreement – U.S. Russian co-operation – wouldn’t be carried out. Putin probably wants the UN to be the one to back out.

    The omost mportant thing for Putin is taht U.S> undertake no indeoendent action to help the rebels or even help deliver food. He has to intensify oppositon to refugees also.

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  18. ICE, the DHS agency responsible for finding and deporting immigrants living in the country illegally, didn’t consistently add digital fingerprint records of immigrants whom agents encountered until 2010.

    Well, of course not. If they added fingerprints to the database, there would be no opportunity to accept bribes. Like this, people whose legal presence in the U.S. had reached a dead end, could pretend to be somebody totally different. Maybe not enough to fool too many opeople, but that’s what bribes are for.

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  19. Thanks Bob23! Re millennials, I think Hillary is getting zero traction on her own, but she’s getting some traction by demonizing Trump, and that will continue to ramp up from now until election day. Early voting starts in what, a week?

    I think I miss Hannah Montana, but she’s not my daughter. My own two daughters are enough of a challenge, as are their two brothers. All four are progressives — my ex is a Dem — but my older daughter has made several volunteer aid trips to Haiti, where her previous goodwill toward the Clintons, and especially toward Hillary, was exploded by reality. So all four of mine were Bernie fans. They will indeed still vote for Hillary, but they do not mistake her as being anything other than a liar and a criminal, a serial obstructor of justice who’s covered up for sexual assault and worse. From my point of view, this is progress, and we have newly bonded in our mutual and identical reactions to Donald Trump.

    Pretending to be normal, between now and election day, is one of the best ways Trump can lull millennials into staying home; Trump’s own missteps are far more likely to rile them up than Hillary’s own campaign efforts. If they are riled up, though, they’ll swamp him — their vote will break for her by at least two-to-one, maybe more. Ditto with several other legs of the Obama Coalition from 2008 & 2012.

    The very best thing he could do would be bait her into canceling the debates, then just lip-syncing the rest of his campaign while letting Kelly Anne Conway and the digital sound experts actually write what they want him to say on the sound track.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  20. “They will indeed still vote for Hillary, but they do not mistake her as being anything other than a liar and a criminal, a serial obstructor of justice who’s covered up for sexual assault and worse.”

    It never ceases to amaze me what some folks will excuse. Best wishes, Beldar.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  21. one heck of a research budget,

    narciso (d1f714)

  22. Col, there seem to be plenty of people who will vote for Trump because they want him to be a wrecking ball.

    Kishnevi (10c258)

  23. They said that his pregnant wife had to get a visa for the baby also, but that couldn’t happen until the baby was born?

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  24. #28 kishnevi,

    At the end of the day, there will be two wrecking balls; one named illary, and one named Trump.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  25. The plug for Designated Survivor (Kiefer Sutherland) on MNF makes me wistful for my chosen Canadian in the White House. Alas, we must make do with pragmatism. And I took out the trash before the game started.

    urbanleftbehind (847a06)

  26. there are suggestion, as were born out in quantico, which I watched because priyanka chopra, that this will be an inner directed plot, like the mcguffin in jericho,

    narciso (d1f714)

  27. CS@31
    Full agreement on that.

    Kishnevi (10c258)

  28. @24 Beldar

    Miley Cyrus was born in Williamson County, TN. The only county in the entire state to go for Ted Cruz in the primary.

    You’ve come a long way baby!

    Pinandpuller (2a8016)

  29. then she got into the salvia and the pot, and this godniece of dolly parton went astray.

    narciso (d1f714)

  30. I’m sure there’s a reasonable explanation,

    narciso (d1f714)

  31. Think we found the relative effect of #NeverTrumpers in this graphic:

    Dystopia Max (76803a)

  32. I didn’t think they would follow the same path step by step.

    narciso (d1f714)

  33. Bob23 (ce7fc3) — 9/19/2016 @ 8:33 pm

    sociopathic trailer trash grifters from Arkansas

    They’re not trailor trash. Bill Clinton is Outfit royalty. The political boss of Hot Springs, Arkansas was none other than Owney (Owney the Killer) Madden, one of the key founders of organzied crime in America. His step-uncle was an important member of the machine. He probably raised money from Owney Madden while he waa a teenager for “charity.”

    Sammy Finkelman (643dcd)

  34. This report both exaggerates it and minimizes it. It makes it sound like more of a problem tyhan it is, and it greatly understates the scale.

    There’s not enough information to make any swense of this. It is impossible to understand from this what exactly is,or went on.

    According to the New York Post:

    This Inspector General report talks about people only from “Special interest countries” or neighboring countries with high rates of fraud (Neighboring countries?)

    The countries are not named. The people are not named.

    The number 858 appears, but 90 investigations were closed, 32 are still under investigation by ICE, 26 cases were declined by prosecutors and 2 criminal cases were accepted that led to immigrants being stripped of their citizenship.

    The INS did not add paper fingerprint records when they went digital in the 1990s. ICE did not do it consistently until 2010. Fingerpints are missing for as many as 315,000 people with final deportation orders or who are wanted as criminals. And 148,000 files have not been reviewed so as to put fingerprints in the digital records.

    The issue is a difference in name or birthplace with the same person. It could be by birthplace maybe they mean country of citizenship at birth. This may be cases where the same fingerpints appeared under two different names, but it is actually not clear of taht is what it is.

    DHS says a review of the files indicates that some of these individuals may have qualified for citizenship despite the lack of digital fingerpirnt records (and other irregularities in the records?)

    Sammy Finkelman (643dcd)

  35. “The young will have a seat at the table.”

    Translation: the kids will be seen and not heard. Now eat your peas.

    When Maudie goes frump, millennials think Trump.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  36. But sit and oppose Trump because he’s not perfect. That’s a good way to end things like this.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (5e0a82)

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