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Thomas Gallatin / September 20, 2016

DHS Bureaucratic Failure

More than 800 possible terrorists were wrongly granted citizenship.

It was unveiled on Monday that the Department of Homeland Security had mistakenly granted U.S. citizenship to over 800 immigrants from “special interest countries” who had been scheduled for deportation. This alarming revelation in light of this past weekend’s bombings perpetrated by a naturalized citizen from Afghanistan has generated numerous questions from lawmakers as to how DHS allowed such a serious security breach to happen.

DHS Inspector General John Roth’s explanation was that old paper files of fingerprint records had not yet been fully added to the digital database due to a lack of funding. Homeland Security officials had been ordered by Congress in 2012 to report how much it would cost for everything to be digitalized. DHS never commented on whether this report was given. Of the 858 individuals mistakenly granted citizenship, roughly 120 were identified by the department as worthy of being prosecuted for fraud and, to date, only two cases have been accepted by the Justice Department and another 26 cases have been refused. Upon learning of the DHS blunder, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse commented, “This is a picture of total incompetence. A bureaucracy that blunders so badly is one that doesn’t take our national security seriously.”

> Update: Jake Tapper reports that the problem is even worse — more than 1,800 individuals who should have been deported were instead granted citizenship.

Hours after bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami was apprehended, Donald Trump stated, “The safety and security of the homeland must be the overriding objective of our leaders when it comes to our immigration policy.” Bureaucratic blunders like this further prove that Donald Trump’s immigration concerns are well-founded.

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