An internal email from President Barack Obama’s administration has revealed that the citizenship applications of over 170 immigrants have been approved without following the FBI’s background check.
This means there’s a strong possibility that the administration missed certain red flags regarding the applicants such as criminal records and radical beliefs.
The email, which came from Associate Director Daniel Ranaud of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a subdivision of Homeland Security, was obtained by Chairman Bob Goodlatte of the House Judiciary Committee.
As stated in the memo, Renaud admitted that a computer code issue has affected the naturalization applications of about 15,000 immigrants, which emerged following the agency’s push to digitize the citizenship application process. The issue prevented the application system from running the names of the immigrants through the FBI’s database, which screens out individuals due to their criminal records and tendencies.
After the problem was discovered, Renaud ordered the USCIS to stop the application process. However, before doing so, about 175 individuals have already been granted citizenship.
“At this point, we are not confident that proper FBI Name Checks have been run on certain [Electronic Immigration System] cases,” Renaud wrote in the email according to The Washington Times. “At this point we are uncertain of the scope of the problem.”
This is the second time this year that the USCIS failed to carry out proper background checks on applicants. Earlier this year, hundreds of applicants with criminal records were granted citizenship because the agency failed to properly screen their fingerprints.
After Goodlatte uncovered the recent major issue, he notified the proper authorities about it. The USCIS has already agreed to work closely with Homeland Security and the FBI to review the applications of the 175 immigrants. Goodlatte noted that the agency should be prepared to take away the citizenship of anyone who fails to pass the FBI’s background check.