More Than 100,000 US Government Immigration Files Missing


By: Jim Kouri, CPP

The GAO discovered that of the naturalization applications adjudicated in 2005, about 30,000 –or about 4 percent of them — may have been adjudicated without access to the aliens’ files.

An investigation by the Government Accountability Office revealed that the US government processed about 30,000 citizenship applications even though the office of the US Citizenship Immigration Services acknowledged they were missing 110,000 A-Files or alien files.

The GAO reported that the agency may not have looked at some of the A-files, which are used to help determine eligibility for immigration benefits, when processing the applications in 2005.

A-files contain immigrants’ applications and other documents and results of any background checks that are used to determine an alien’s eligibility.

Republican senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Susan Collins of Maine released details of the investigation on Tuesday. The senators claimed they sought the investigation after a suspected terrorist was granted US citizenship in 2002.

“It only takes one missing file of somebody with links to a terrorist organization to become an American citizen,” Grassley said in a news release.

However, the GAO added that the number of applications processed without examining A-files may not have been so high because workers do not always record whether they’ve looked at the files.

Grassley and Collins said Citizenship Immigration Services agreed to require workers to record whether they looked at A-files while working on naturalization applications.

Missing A-files can have an impact on the process of adjudicating naturalization applications in several ways, according to the GAO report.

For example, when an A-file is not available at the location indicated in the automated file-tracking system, additional time is spent trying to locate the file, which slows the adjudication process and applicants may wait longer for USCIS to process their application.

In addition, missing A-files can hinder USCIS’s ability to uncover immigration benefit fraud and limit DHS’ ability to take enforcement actions. USCIS claims it has steps in place to help mitigate the risk of adjudicating a naturalization application without an A-file. These steps include verifying the applicant’s lawful admission to the United States and conducting extra supervisory reviews to ensure that naturalization processing procedures have been followed.

While deemed critical, especially in making citizenship decisions, A-files are sometimes missing during adjudications. In 2002, naturalization was granted to an alien whose A-file was missing and who was later found to be associated with a terrorist organization, although the GAO report does not provide the identity of the suspect.



Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for TheConservativeVoice.Com and PHXnews.com. He’s also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.us

About The Author Jim Kouri, CPP:
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc. To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.
Website:http://jimkouri.us

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