WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the top-ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is calling for answers from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) about their use of the Electronic Immigration System, the system whose deficiencies were primarily responsible for USCIS issuing 20,000 green cards in error.
“It’s a threat to our national security if we’re sending out incorrect or duplicate green cards which could wind up in the hands of terrorists or criminals,” McCaskill said. “The Department of Homeland Security cannot and should not plan to use this technology again unless they’re absolutely sure they’ve resolved any remaining problems.”
Earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General issued an urgent recommendation that USCIS stop their plan to restart use of the Electronic Immigration System (ELIS) given its persistent and significant issues. The agency had stopped using ELIS following problems including inadequate background checks, technical difficulties, and mistakenly issuing thousands of green cards. McCaskill wrote to USCIS Acting Director James McCament requesting a briefing on his department’s planned future use for ELIS and a “corrective action plan that addresses the concerns presented by the [Office of Inspector General].”
McCaskill has served on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee since joining the Senate in 2007, becoming the top-ranking Democrat this past January. Recently, President Trump signed into law her bill with Republican Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas to address the threat of agro-terrorism. She also introduced a bill this year 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.
Read McCaskill’s letter to McCament HERE.