There’s a very specific process that must be followed to gain the privilege of being a United States Citizen. It is a system that has been in place to make sure people being accepted as citizens meet certain standards and are committed to being here. To the immigrants who work hard, follow the rules, and get to naturalization, it is an incredibly worthwhile experience.
These are the general eligibility requirements that the applicant must meet:
- Be at least 18 years of age;
- Be a lawful permanent resident (green card holder);
- Have resided in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for at least five years;
- Have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months;
- Be a person of good moral character;
- Be able to speak, read, write and understand the English language;
- Have knowledge of U.S. government and history; and
- Be willing and able to take the Oath of Allegiance.
They are perfectly reasonable prerequisites. Becoming a citizen of any country that is not yours is a big deal. Many who have gone through the process speak of how important and special the process is.
In his rush to be buddies with immigrants, Obama has performed some serious violations. His administration has allowed illegals to overwhelm our country. Through restricting border official from doing their jobs, releasing thousands of illegals, and refusing to deport thousands more, Obama has taken the side of immigrants over citizens.
Now it seems the administration has not only made a joke out of one of the most significant moments in an immigrant’s life but has placed millions at risk.
Approximately 175 immigrants were approved for citizenship even though their names weren’t properly run through the FBI’s name-check databases. Homeland Security officials blamed computer code for the problem, which affected about 15,000 applications in total.
This is a huge misstep. FBI name checks are a vital part of the application process. It gives immigration officers a look at potential criminal histories or other national security red flags that would make someone ineligible for citizenship. The agency says that those people have now had their names resubmitted to the FBI for an update.
It was another big mistake by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Earlier this year they had granted citizenship to hundreds of criminals who should have been rejected. The mistake was made because the agency wasn’t properly checking their fingerprints. Tens of thousands of fingerprints remain in paper files, and the agency was only checking electronic records, an internal audit said.
Clearly the system is flawed. This newest lapse was enough to cause the government to halt all naturalization ceremonies already in the pipeline and ban USCIS officers from approving new citizenship applications.
Daniel M. Renaud, associate director at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service stated, “At this point we are not confident that proper FBI Name Checks have been run on certain cases. At this point we are uncertain of the scope of the problem.”
That is quite terrifying.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte was shocked not only at the mistake but the fact that he was not notified. He is the chairman of the committee that oversees the agency. He only learned about it after a source provided him with Mr. Renaud’s internal email.
Homeland Security admitted the problem arose as part of the attempt to digitally process citizenship applications.
Mr. Goodlatte demanded USCIS detail when it discovered the problem and how many cases were affected. He insisted that the agency should take steps to strip citizenship from anyone who shouldn’t have been approved. Homeland Security spokesman Aaron Rodriguez said the department will respond directly to Mr. Goodlatte. In an obvious moment of delusion he tried to reassure the public that the agency does take the background process seriously.
Rodriguez said FBI name checks are one of a number of steps in the process, each aimed at ensuring the process declines applicants who are ineligible.
He also, “Naturalization applications represent a significant portion of USCIS’ caseload, and as with any major system change, some challenges were expected as we moved to electronic processing of the N-400. We will continue to employ multiple quality controls to ensure the integrity of the naturalization process.”
Without a doubt, mistakes are expected with a new system. It does seem that the agency should have had a backup method to confirm that the changes were working properly. Instead they stumbled blindly through the modifications and their unskillful behavior has put many in jeopardy.
Director Renaud went about correcting the problem quietly, possibly trying to avoid as much embarrassment as possible. He sent an email to all his employees issuing new directives. Officers are allowed to continue conducting citizenship interviews but cannot issue final approvals. In emergency cases officers need to get written confirmation from a regional office that the FBI information in the system was correct.
These seem like simple steps. While they will certainly slow down the process slightly, they prevent these types of mistakes from occurring. This is undoubtedly what the agency should have done in the first place.
However, with Obama looking over their shoulders and pushing the operations to be done as quickly as possible, dangerous mistakes were made. Nobody in the agency stepped up to suggest this might be a treacherous course. They put their heads down and did as they were told.
Everyone, from Obama down the entire ladder, is at fault. They will need to be the ones to explain when a tragedy takes place. It is only a matter of time until this mistake costs lives.
Mr. Goodlatte is correct in his insistence that something must be done.
America must watch and see if the department will finally take responsibility and do their jobs the way they should have in the first place.