Texas Republican Rep. John Culberson introduced a bill Thursday designed to pause the government’s ability to grant new naturalizations until the Department of Homeland Security proves it is checking fingerprints to assure potential citizens don’t have pending deportation orders.
The move comes in the wake of a September Department of Homeland Security Inspector General report revealing hundreds of immigrants were granted citizenship despite being deemed ineligible since their digital fingerprints were not available.
“It is absolutely outrageous that these 858 aliens were able to defraud the government because these paper based fingerprints were not uploaded. It is even more outrageous that there are currently 148,000 aliens with deportation orders that have not had fingerprints uploaded so this could occur again,” he said in a statement. “These 858 individuals were meant to be deported, and instead, they were granted the rights of citizens, including the ability to sponsor other aliens for entry into the United States and hold jobs in law enforcement positions.”
Culberson argued it’s necessary for DHS to uploads any remaining paper based fingerprint cards to digital database to prevent future instances of fraud.
Under the legislation, DHS would be required to refer cases to the Department of Justice when the agency becomes aware an individual was unlawfully natural
DHS would also be mandated to rerun pending applicants’ fingerprints of any pending applicants once the paper prints are digitized. The bill would grant the agency the ability to accept applications and conduct adjudication interviews.