DHS Provided Citizenship to Hundreds of Illegal Aliens From ‘Special Interest’ Countries

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By Michael W. Cutler

Mike is a Senior Fellow with CAPS and retired INS Senior Special Agent. During his 30-year career with the INS he rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch. He was assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division of the DEA and for 10 years was assigned, as an INS Senior Special Agent, to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force. He has testified at numerous hearings conducted by committees and subcommittees of the House and Senate and provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission.

He hosts "The Michael Cutler Hour" on USA Talk Radio Fridays at 7 p.m. (EST) and is frequently interviewed by broadcast media on various aspects of immigration issues, especially the nexus to national security.

The writer's views are his own.

October 7, 2016
"Special Interest Countries"

On September 19, 2016, Fox News reported, “Watchdog: Feds wrongly granted citizenship to hundreds facing deportation,” that focused on the findings of the Office of Inspector General for the DHS concerning how hundreds of aliens facing removal deportation had, instead, been granted United States citizenship. These aliens were originally from countries identified as being “Special Interest Countries,” that is to say, countries that are associated with terrorism.

According to the official findings, of those who were able to game the naturalization process, some went on to acquire jobs, including in law enforcement, where U.S. citizenship is a prerequisite.

The report noted that 858 aliens were naturalized and that they had provided false names or dates of birth. Furthermore, it is possible that an additional 953 aliens “who had final deportation orders under another identity” had been naturalized, including aliens who were also citizens of such Special Interest Countries.

As well, Fox News reported:

“DHS Inspector General John Roth also found fingerprints missing from federal databases for as many as 315,000 immigrants with final deportation orders or who are fugitive criminals. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has not reviewed about 148,000 of those immigrants’ files to add fingerprints to the digital record.”

U.S. citizenship represents the “keys to the kingdom” and also the keys to America’s front door. While much has been made in recent years about the lack of security at the U.S.-Mexican border, most terrorists have not entered the U.S. without inspection, but were actually admitted into the country at one of America’s 325 ports of entry located along our land borders, coastline and international airports.

An alien who naturalizes is entitled to a U.S. passport. What is not generally known is that an alien who naturalizes may legally change his/her name. Incredibly, when that newly minted citizen is issued a U.S. passport, the passport will only reflect the new name. In essence, this enables aliens to put themselves into their own “witness protection program.”

Furthermore, such aliens generally are dual-nationals. They retain their original citizenship and passport from their country of birth. This creates a potential huge vulnerability, not just for the U.S., but for other countries as well.

A person who has two passports can travel from the U.S. to another country, such as England or Germany, under his American passport. Upon arrival in Europe, that person may then travel on his other passport and original name to another country, perhaps in the Middle East, to attend a training session or for other purposes linked to terrorism. By reversing the process, when that person returns to the U.S., it would appear that the only country he visited was in Europe.

Additionally, it is entirely possible that the other countries would not know the true identity of this person and allow them to enter even if his/her original name was on a terror watch list.

Adding the original name to the U.S. passport would help to prevent this. I have raised this issue when I have testified before Congressional hearings. Yet, this simple and inexpensive measure has not been implemented.

A number of the terrorists who have carried out terror attacks in the U.S. had been naturalized prior to carrying out their attacks. Clearly, the vetting process that is supposed to be conducted in conjunction with the naturalization process is fatally flawed.

My article, “How DHS Ineptitude Facilitates Terrorist Operations,” focuses on this issue.

Not long ago I also wrote an article about a naturalized Somali immigrant who had “made it” to the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists List.” The title of my piece was, “The Immigration Factor – Naturalized U.S. Citizen Added to FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List.”

In the article, I noted that the FBI is greatly concerned about this individual who is charged with providing material support and resources to Al-Qaeda and Al-Shabaab, a Somali-based terrorist organization. Additionally, he had worked as a cab driver in Washington, D.C., and has an intimate knowledge of D.C.’s infrastructure and government buildings.

Yet, unbelievably, Hillary Clinton and other politicians have advocated for providing unknown millions of illegal aliens with lawful status and even a pathway to U.S. citizenship, using the same dysfunctional and inept agency and bureaucratic machinery to process their applications without an interview or field investigation.

These politicians falsely claim that since we cannot deport all illegal aliens we must somehow “deal with them.” Violations of immigration laws are not unlike violations of any other laws. The solution is to arrest as many law violators as possible to make it clear that violations of law will not be ignored or even rewarded, but will result in punishment.

I refer to this commonsense approach as “deterrence through enforcement.”

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