by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued thousands of duplicate green cards to immigrants, including many that include incorrect information and allow these individuals to stay longer than permitted in the United States, according to a new government oversight report that warns the Department of Homeland Security is incapable of tracking immigrants who may pose a security risk to the United States.
USCIS, which handles immigration cases and the distribution of green cards, was found to have produced at least 19,000 green cards during the past three years that were duplicates or contained incorrect information, according to a new report by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general.
During the same period, more than 200,000 green card holders reported their cards missing and an increasing number of cards were sent to incorrect addresses, posing a risk to national security.
Problems at USCIS have been increasing over the past three years. The bureau has been deemed incapable of keeping track of green cards and immigrants who have overstayed their legal time in the United States.
“In the wrong hands, Green Cards may enable terrorists, criminals, and illegal aliens to remain in the United States and access immigrant benefits,” according to the oversight report, which disclosed that green card errors cost taxpayers $1.5 million in 2015.
“Responding to card issuance errors has also resulted in additional workload and corresponding costs, as USCIS spent just under $1.5 million to address card related customer inquiries in fiscal year 2015,” according to the report.
Homeland security experts told the Washington Free Beacon that problems at USCIS are widespread and systemic, presenting a challenge to authorities tracking individuals who have overstayed their time in the United States or who pose a national security risk to the country.