WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill issued the following statement after a report released today by the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General indicated that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is planning to continue using a computer program before resolving a number of outstanding performance problems that allowed 175 individuals to receive U.S. citizenship without going through the proper background checks:
“U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill for a computer program that’s simply not working—and if it’s not corrected it could endanger our national security. I’ll be asking the Department of Homeland Security for information about this contract, until I’m satisfied our tax dollars are being well spent and Americans are safe.”
The Inspector General’s (IG’s) report recommends that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services suspend using the Electronic Immigration System (ELIS) after the office determined the system had mishandled casework and appointments—even allowing 175 individuals to receive U.S. citizenship without going through the proper background checks (Department of Homeland Security officials have subsequently conducted proper background checks on those individuals after the error was discovered). The IG found numerous previous problems with the ELIS program in 2016—including the erroneous issuance of nearly 20,000 Green Cards in November 2016.
During her first term in the Senate, McCaskill waged a successful six-year battle to rein in wasteful wartime contracting practices in Iraq and Afghanistan, and ultimately passed into law the most expansive reforms to wartime contracting practices since World War II. She has recently conducted oversight of federal contracts within the Department of Energy, Office of Personnel Management, and Department of Defense.
McCaskill is the top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.