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Homeland Security Warned of ‘Alarming Security Concerns’ with Processing Immigrants

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The public watchdog for Homeland Security issued an “urgent” alert Monday, saying there are “alarming security concerns” with the long-troubled electronic system that processes immigrants’ applications for citizenship, according to the U.S. News & World Report. 

Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General warned of widespread security flaws, prompting the Electronic Immigration System, or ELIS, to be discontinued.

Among the findings was that the system granted 20,000 green and and 175 applications for citizenship to people with incomplete or inaccurate security and background checks.

“Without sufficient vetting, immigrants could potentially be granted U.S. citizenship although they are ineligible or pose national security threats,” Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth wrote in a Friday memo to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

U.S. News & World Report wrote:

The system entered development in 2009 as a way to ease benefits applications for immigrants, and it was scheduled to be completed in 2013. By the time the program launched in 2012, however, it offered just two of the dozens of the services it was supposed to provide, and U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services estimated it would need another three years and $1 billion to complete the program. Subsequent audits made public March, November and January uncovered a raft of security concerns.

However, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General apparently learned that, despite the issues, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services planned to reinstate the program as soon as this month, stoking alarm that the agency had not properly addressed the issues identified in the inspector general’s audit, the full results of which still have not yet been released.

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