Following the two weekend terrorist attacks carried out by naturalized US citizens, the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general announced Monday that 800 individuals slipped through the cracks and were wrongly granted citizenship. “In 858 of the cases, fingerprints for the individual, either at DHS or the FBI were not available because the agencies haven’t fully digitized their inventories of older finger prints taken on paper,” reported Fox News’ Chief Washington Correspondent James Rosen. And yet ABC and NBC failed to report it that evening, while CBS buried it in a Donald Trump report with no context.
The illegal immigrants in question managed to fool the federal government by using fake names and date of birth, and exploiting an out dated fingerprint system. “But it gets worse,” Rosen exclaimed:
The DHS inspector general finds one of these newly naturalized citizens using a false identity has become a law enforcement official here. Three of them have obtained some form of security clearance. Two enjoy access to secure areas at commercial airports. And one has access to secure areas at maritime facilities.
According to Rosen there is a little bit of good news, “At least two of the 1,000 illegal immigrants wrongly granted citizenship are being prosecuted by US attorneys.” And while the two sets of fingerprints with links to terrorism that have been referred to the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Of the “Big Three” networks only CBS had any mention of it. Granted a scant 12 seconds by Major Garrett, it was relegated to the end of his Donald Trump report. “Scott, Trump said news today that 858 immigrants with deportation orders were mistakenly granted citizenship proves the current system is under stress and must be strengthened,” Garrett, stated with no information about what Trump was talking about.
In stark contrast, both Univision and Telemundo dedicated a serious amount of time to the major news. Telemundo granted the IG’s report a 34 second brief where they mentioned how fake names and dates of births were used. But anchor Maria Celeste Arraras finished off with a rather odd notation, “The government has not specified what will happen with these immigrants that are now citizens.”
Univision, on the other hand, gave the report two minutes, 42 seconds where they went over the seriousness of the development. But, by the end of the report they made it all about how it would hurt Hillary Clinton. “These revelations can hit Hillary Clinton hard,” reported Jaime Garcia before cutting to an activist who warned, “Her opponent, Donald Trump, will say that she is preparing a big fraud to come out victorious electorally on November 8th.”
September 19, 2016
6:09:10 PM Eastern
BRET BAIER: The fear of foreign terrorists living among us may be under scored with the arrest of Rahami, a naturalized US citizen from Afghanistan. And the terror investigation into the Somali man who went on that stabbing—stabbing rampage in Minnesota. While President Obama recently announced plans to allow more than 100,000 refugees into the US in 2017, and plans to push more countries to take in Syrian refugees this week at the UN. A new Homeland Security Inspector General’s report tonight states that hundreds of individuals who were ordered deported were actually granted US citizenship. Chief Washington Correspondent James Rosen reports.
[Cuts to video]
JAMES ROSEN: A new report by the inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security finds the US citizenship and immigration services—or CIS— improperly granted citizenship to 1,029 foreigners, from counties of concern, or with high rates of immigration fraud. Individuals who had already had a final deportation order issued against them under another identity. In 858 of the cases, fingerprints for the individual, either at DHS or the FBI were not available because the agencies haven’t fully digitized their inventories of older finger prints taken on paper.
CHARLES STIMSON: This is a case where we had the data but the desire to grant citizenship trumped the core competency to make the data available in a timely way.
ROSEN: But it gets worse. The DHS inspector general finds one of these newly naturalized citizens using a false identity has become a law enforcement official here. Three of them have obtained some form of security clearance. Two enjoy access to secure areas at commercial airports. And one has access to secure areas at maritime facilities. In a statement, DHS Spokesperson Neema Hakim said:
“Before the report was issued, ICE”— The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency— “had already digitized the majority of the 315,000 records which it had previously identified as having potentially missing paper fingerprint records. Due to a lack of funding, that effort did not complete the digitization process. The remaining number will now be reviewed and digitized.”
Addressing the weekend bombings in New York and New Jersey, in which the lead suspect is an Afghan native who attained naturalized citizenship here in the US, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton warned against painting with two broad a brush.
HILLARY CLINTON: There are millions and millions of naturalized citizens in America from all over the world.
ROSEN: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has called for much tougher immigration measures, renewed that call after the weekend explosions.
DONALD TRUMP: So let me state very, very clearly, immigration security is national security.
[Cuts back to live]
ROSEN: At least two of the 1,000 illegal immigrants wrongly granted citizenship are being prosecuted by US attorneys. And two others with fingerprint records linked to terrorism have been referred to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Bret?
BAIER: James thank you.
6:47:34 PM - 6:48:09 PM EST | 34 SEC
MARIA CELESTE ARRARAS, ANCHOR, TELEMUNDO: The United States gave by mistake citizenship to more than 850 immigrants with pending deportation orders. People who applied for citizenship using different names and dates of birth but at the time it was no detected because their fingerprints had not been included in the government's databases. All of them come from countries that are deemed of special interest to national security, with high incidences of immigration fraud. The government has not specified what will happen with these immigrants that are now citizens.
6:48:57 PM - 6:51:21 PM EST | 2 MIN 42 SEC
MARIA ELENA SALINAS, ANCHOR, UNIVISION: The Immigration and Citizenship Service, a system labeled by many politicians as broken, faces a scandalous failure that seems to confirm that perception. It gave, by mistake, American citizenship to more than 850 immigrants that had pending deportation orders and committed fraud in their citizenship applications. In addition, they come from countries that cause concern in regards to the security of the United States. Jaime Garcia explains.
JAIME GARCIA, CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION: The Office of the Inspector General sounded the alarm. Potentially, 858 immigrants with deportation orders became citizens through fraud.
ARTURO VARGAS, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LATINO ELECTED AND APPOINTED OFFICIALS: The allegations in this report are that people who were not eligible to go through naturalization because they had convictions in their criminal records that made them ineligible got citizenship.
JAIME GARCIA, CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION: According to this report, customs and border protection agents identified eight years ago 206 foreigners from countries that concern national security which assumed a different identity to solicit their legal residency and citizenship. Who, taking advantage of the delays in archiving fingerprints, received the approval of their citizenship application.
JUAN JOSE GUTIERREZ, DIRECTOR OF LATINOS UNIDOS-USA: What this means is that immigration authorities need more resources to modernize. That's something Congress doesn't want to do.
JAIME GARCIA, CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION: A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security pointed out that they're already taking action to incorporate fingerprints collected on paper that date from before 1990. He pointed out that not all who solicited citizenship fraudulently got their citizenship request approved and warned that 120 citizens have been identified that appear to have committed fraud and will be prosecuted.
JAIME GARCIA, CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION: But those who help many people complete their immigration processes point out that now it is practically impossible for a legal resident to obtain citizenship with a pending deportation order or a criminal record. According to this activist, in this current political climate, these revelations can hit Hillary Clinton hard.
ARTURO VARGAS, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LATINO ELECTED AND APPOINTED OFFICIALS: Her opponent, Donald Trump, will say that she is preparing a big fraud to come out victorious electorally on November 8th.
JAIME GARCIA, CORRESPONDENT, UNIVISION: In Los Angeles, Jaime Garcia, with Univision.