You will hear over and over again tonight from President Obama — and repeated ad nauseum by the gullible, open-borders media — that only illegal aliens who pass “background checks” will be eligible for the massive new administrative amnesty.
Two words: Bull. Crap.
For the past two decades, I’ve reported on the systematic sabotage and incorrigible incompetence of the federal government when it comes to immigration background checks. Instead of instituting a moratorium and fixing enforcement of the current system, both political parties have piled on and exacerbated the problem with endless new amnesties that overwhelm the homeland security infrastructure.
Obama’s DHS abandoned criminal background checks wholesale for DACA/”Dreamers” after promising they would be vetted.
Judicial Watch announced today that documents obtained recently through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request show that the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) abandoned required background checks late last year, adopting, instead, costly “lean and lite” procedures in effort to keep up with the flood of amnesty applications spurred by President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) directive, which grants illegal aliens a two-year deferment from deportation.
Acting on a tip from a whistleblower at a federal law enforcement agency, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request with DHS, for “all communications, memoranda, emails, policy guidance, directives, initiatives, and any other correspondence respecting the scope and extent of background checks to be performed (or not) on aliens applying to the Obama administration’s DACA program.” The FOIA was filed on October 26, 2012. The Immigration and National Security Act (INA) mandates a “coordinated, uniform, and efficient,” system of background checks. Instead, the FOIA documents reveal a costly, haphazard process, with only cursory review for the backgrounds of illegal aliens seeking “deferred status.” Document highlights include:
In a series of agency memos beginning in September 14, 2012, field offices were told to expect the National Benefits Center (which collects all DACA applications) to conduct only “lean & lite” background checks on illegal alien applicants, and that, henceforth, “NBC will not perform full TECS checks or any evidence review on these cases before we ship to the field.” An October 14 memo reiterated that under the new “lean and lite” policy, “Hits will be sent to the field without resolution.” On October 25, the St. Paul Field Director conceded to staffers that the new “lean & lite” procedures were for an indefinite period of time, saying, “I just can’t tell you when things will revert back to the way they used to be.”
An email chain from September 5 and through November 14 indicates managerial pressure not to turn any illegal alien applicant away for lack of ID, including the explicit directive in an October 3 memo, “Biometric processing should not be refused solely because an applicant does not present an acceptable ID.” In an October 1 memo further restricting independent action by agency personnel, they were instructed, “Every two weeks field offices will report the number of DACA requestors who appear for biometrics collection at an ASC during the previous two week period, but were turned away without fingerprints or photographs being taken. Field offices will also need to provide the reason why the DACA requestor was turned away by the ASC ISO.”
…On November 9, 2012, just three days after Obama was reelected, in an “!!! IMPORTANT DACA MESSAGE!!! The agency was directed to: “Please put all DACA work on hold until further notice.” There are no later-dated documents in the production to indicate how or when USCIS resumed DACA background checks or application processing.
…“The Obama administration seems to be throwing public safety and national security out the door in implementing its illicit and unilateral amnesty program for illegal aliens. The costs and security lapses of this program show that this administration can’t be trusted to implement any of the new security measures in the amnesty bill in the Senate,” stated Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton. “These documents show a crisis in law enforcement and national security caused by President Obama’s unilateral decision to grant amnesty to hundreds of thousands illegal aliens.”
And here’s my 2008 refresher on the long pattern of throwing background checks out the window for bipartisan open-borders expedience. Washington never learns:
McClatchy reporter James Asher has a new piece out detailing how DHS is clearing massive application backlogs by skipping the background checks. Before we get into the meat of that story, let me refresh your memories about a few things.
During the shamnesty debacle, we were told to shut up about our national security concerns because McCain and company were going to guarantee that all illegal alien guest-workers would get thorough background checks. We were told to calm down about the proposal because there was nothing to worry about. But the background check process was a fraud.
And anyone with more than a passing knowledge of the adjudication process at DHS and the former INS agency has long known that security is routinely short-circuited. In 2006, I published memos exposing the incentive structure rewarding adjudication officers for rubber-stamping as many applications as possible. Immigration agents across the country receive bonuses when they meet quotas for approving applications. Those national security-undermining incentives and bonuses remain in place. Flashback (click for full-size memos):
Here’s a memo from the Houston USCIS office from May 2004. According to sources, adjudicators are still being rewarded for high “average completions per day.”
In fact, bureaucrats have cooked up elaborate evaluation charts and ratings based on completion of different types of applications.
The single number in the boxes that begins with an “I” is a type of application. The column of numbers shows how many of each application an adjudicator must process per hour to receive a rating of outstanding (O), excellent (E), and so on. Promotions, raises, and bonuses are based on these ratings at the National Benefits Center in Lee’s Summit, MO.
Now, ask your representatives in Washington how the hell they think the millions of applications for the Senate’s amnesty and guest-worker programs will be subject to more rigorous and careful scrutiny–when entrenched rubber-stamping of current and backlogged applications gets rewarded and always has been.
And I reminded you last week of how the Clintons sped up the naturalization process to create millions of new Democrat voters by…circumventing background checks.
And so we come to James Asher’s new report. Everything old is new again:
In a major policy shift aimed at reducing a ballooning immigration backlog, the Department of Homeland Security is preparing to grant permanent residency to tens of thousands of applicants before the FBI completes a required background check.
Those eligible are immigrants whose fingerprints have cleared the FBI database of criminal convictions and arrests, but whose names have not yet cleared the FBI’s criminal or intelligence files after six months of waiting.
The immigrants who are granted permanent status, more commonly known as getting their green cards, will be expected eventually to clear the FBI’s name check. If they don’t, their legal status will be revoked and they’ll be deported.
Oh, no they won’t. Again: Learn from history.
DHS tries to maintain self-delusion:
DHS officials said the new process does not pose any new security risks because green card applicants have been allowed to remain in the country while they wait to be screened.
“We will do nothing that cuts corners or compromises national security,” said Chris Bentley, a spokesman for Citizenship and Immigration Services, the DHS agency that processes green cards and citizenship.
Mark Krikorian provides the reality check:
“It’s a decision driven by the bureaucratic imperative to move the line along rather than addressing national security concerns,” said Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “It defies the imagination that you can require a security check only to decide that you’re going to ignore it.”
Same old, same old.
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