WASHINGTON D.C. — Three terrorist attacks over the weekend across the U.S. is spurring new concerns about immigration to the United States and the government’s vetting process. Minnesota is home to thousands of refugees and is dealing with the aftermath of one of those – a terrorist attack in a shopping mall in St. Cloud, M.N.
However, news out of Washington D.C. this morning has created a cause for concern on vetting procedures for immigrants.
A new report out of Washington from The Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) released a 24 page report detailing a potential national security breach.
The report explains that at least 858 individuals who were ordered to be deported from the United States were granted U.S. Citizenship because records of their fingerprints were not in the system.
However, this is not the first time that this has occurred. In 2008, a government employee found that 206 immigrants who were in the process of being deported had created new identities to obtain resident or citizenship status.
The OIG’s office’s office has determined that these deportees were from “special interest countries or countries bordering other countries with high immigration fraud.”
Special interest countries can be identified as countries with links to terrorism. As Alpha News reported, the U.S. had to shut down the visa program in 2008 to countries in Africa due to large amounts of immigration fraud.
The OIG’s office has also found 148,000 fingerprint files belonging to deportees that have not been digitized. This makes it more likely for deported individuals to re-enter the United States since their fingerprints are not in the system.
It has also determined that both the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had incomplete fingerprint databases. It concludes that ICE should digitize the older fingerprints and “resolve cases involving naturalized citizens who may not be eligible.”
As the 2016 election season winds to a close, expect candidates at all levels to have lively discussions on current immigration policies and procedures and how anti-terrorism efforts may be effected. Minnesota residents have begun to see this conversation occur within their own political communities.
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