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Roby Says that Homeland Security Dropped the Ball

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, September 20, 2016, US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) in an email to constituents commented on reporting that 850 immigrants who were supposed to be deported instead were granted US citizenship.

Congresswoman Roby said, “Amid the attacks around the country and the growing tension, there was some unnerving news from the Department of Homeland Security: more than 850 immigrants awaiting deportation back to “countries of concern” were mistakenly granted citizenship instead. Yes, you read that correctly.”

Rep. Roby continued, “As this Associated Press reporter writes, “Mistakenly awarding citizenship to someone ordered deported can have serious consequences because US citizens can typically apply for and receive security clearances or take security-sensitive jobs.”

Rep. Roby wrote, “At least three of the immigrants-turned-citizens were able to acquire aviation or transportation worker credentials, granting them access to secure areas in airports or maritime facilities and vessels. Their credentials were revoked after they were identified as having been granted citizenship improperly, Roth said in his report. A fourth person is now a law enforcement officer.”

Rep. Roby added, “Remember that conservatives were castigated in the media for wanting to beef up security protocols in the refugee vetting process amid the influx from the Middle East. We were constantly told by the Obama Administration that the current system is air tight. Apparently we were right to raise concerns and demand better from DHS.”

According to the DHS Inspector General report, at least 858 people that had been ordered deported or removed under another name were improperly granted US citizenship due to a failure to maintain adequate fingerprint records.

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Older fingerprint records were not digitized as part of DHS or the FBI fingerprint databases and therefore could not be readily searched thereby preventing those who had been ordered deported or removed from being identified. There are about 148,000 1990s era fingerprint records that have not been digitized of aliens with final deportation orders or who are criminals or fugitives.

The Department of Homeland Security with the IG’s recommendations and has begun implementing corrective actions.

Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District.

Original reporting by CNN and the Associated Press contributed to this report

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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