Since September 2016, the DHS Office of Inspector General has warned the government that hundreds of aliens improperly obtained citizenship, some with deportation orders, and then used another name.
Immigration authorities ordered the start of the process to withdraw some 1,600 illegally obtained citizenships, states a memorandum written in response to a request sent by the law firm Matthew Hopoock through the Public Information Act (FOIA).
The report describes the process used by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to determine the number of cases investigated, the causes and the denaturalization processes that have been initiated.
The document states that the problem of suspicious naturalizations was noticed in 2016 when the Historical Fingerprint Enrollment (HFE) recommended that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “complete the review of 148,000 alien files (A-files) and upload into the IDENT database all fingerprints of individuals who had final orders of deportation or criminal records, and were also fugitives.
A report by the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security (IGDHS) dated September 8, 2016 then recommended that the USCIS establish a plan to “evaluate the eligibility of each naturalized citizen whose fingerprint record reveals a deportation and removal order under a different identity.
The USCIS said that it manually reviewed approximately 2,000 naturalization cases and found that, after entering the fingerprints into the system, about 1,600 of those files were for people who had naturalized and had previously “received an order of deportation under a different identity” or had been deported.