WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the top-ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is demanding answers on the use by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of a technology that has been rife with problems, including the approval of 200 citizenship applications without proper background checks and the erroneous issuance of 20,000 green cards. Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin joined McCaskill in her inquiry.
“As every new problem with this system surfaces, it’s increasingly clear that use of it puts Missourians and all Americans at risk,” McCaskill said. “Citizenship papers or a green card in the wrong hands jeopardizes our national security, and I’m committed to working on a bipartisan basis to get answers now on what the government is going to do to make absolutely sure that more mistakes aren’t made.”
In reviewing the Electronic Immigration System, the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General has received 200,000 reports from approved applicants about missing green cards and has found that the system issued 20,000 green cards in error and approved 200 citizenship applications before completing sufficient background checks on the applicants. McCaskill first raised concerns over the system last July, and is now seeking additional details from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services over who was responsible for the program, the timeline for the 200 citizenship applications that were approved, and how the agency will ensure that no additional citizenship applications are approved without proper vetting.
McCaskill has served on the Homeland Security Committee since joining the Senate, becoming the top-ranking Democrat last year, where she has prioritized protecting Missourians and all Americans from national security threats. McCaskill joined Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire to introduce legislation authorizing the Department of Homeland Security’s Counterterrorism Advisory Board, whose mission is to bring together the intelligence, operational, and policy-making elements from across the department to devise joint strategies to deter and disrupt potential terrorist attacks. McCaskill’s bill to reauthorize the Department of Homeland Security’s program that targets transnational criminal organizations on the border and at U.S. ports in order to combat drug and weapons trafficking and other crimes was approved by the Committee last year. McCaskill has also introduced a bipartisan terrorism response bill with Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah.
Read McCaskill and Johnson’s letter to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services HERE.