A high profile citizenship mistake recently saw more than 850 people from countries with a long record of immigration fraud being granted naturalization.
A report on NPR stated all 858 of the individuals had previously been ordered out of the United States. Officials from the Department of Homeland Security blamed the citizenship mistake on flawed fingerprint records.
The error came to light during an investigation into whether U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services was using databases that contain personal information properly for naturalization applications.
This citizenship mistake is highly alarming. Not only does it have national security implications, but it questions how USCIS is using information for other citizenship applications. USCIS can and does make mistakes. A Texas citizenship attorney can help identify these errors and make sure there are no flaws in your application.
NPR reported the inspector general’s report said neither the FBI nor the Department of Homeland Security had the fingerprint records of those due to be deported. They were on paper and had not yet been digitized.
At least three of the people in question carried out work at airports or maritime facilities. This work was described as “security sensitive.”
Incomplete Fingerprint Records Lead to Citizenship Mistake
The detailed report said almost 150,000 fingerprint records that are yet to be digitized belong to people who are slated for deportation, fugitives or criminals. Homeland Security set up a digital database in 2007.
The naturalization process only uses digitized fingerprint records. Some people who applied under a different name were wrongly approved for citizenship.
The report also alludes to a gap in information-sharing between the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Not all of the records taken during the immigration process were sent on to the FBI.
The report called for a review of every single one of the 858 cases of mistaken citizenship to determine whether the applicant was eligible for citizenship. For those who are ineligible, denaturalization will require legal proceedings.
If you are applying for citizenship or facing deportation, you should hire an experienced Austin immigration lawyer. A number of factors determine eligibility for citizenship and there are different routes.
Call us at Peek & Toland at (512) 399-2311 for a consultation on naturalization or any other immigration issue.