In 2008, a program called Secure Communities was introduced by DHS and ICE. It came from a pilot program then President Bush authorized and later President Obama expanded. The pilot and eventually the program began as a government effort to focus enforcement on illegal immigrants who commit crimes, rather than those who otherwise obey the law.
The purpose of the program was to use a federal information-sharing partnership between DHS and FBI to help identify in-custody aliens without imposing new or additional requirements on state and local law enforcement. Secure Communities utilized all available data systems and Criminal Alien Program resources to identify and take enforcement actions.
In 2009 during its first year of activity, DHS announced that the program had identified more than 111,000 criminal illegal immigrants in local custody. More than 11,000 were convicted of serious crimes such as murder, rape, and kidnapping. Yet in that same year only 1,900 of those people were actually deported.
Under Secure Communities, the FBI was to automatically send the fingerprints to DHS to check against its immigration databases. If these checks revealed that an individual was unlawfully present in the United States or otherwise removable, ICE was to take enforcement action – prioritizing the removal of individuals who present the most significant threats to public safety as determined by the severity of their crime, their criminal history, and risk to public safety – as well as those who have violated the nation’s immigration laws. The program relied heavily on accuracy, complete input files, and cooperation between all law enforcement agencies from local to prisons to provide fingerprints and other information.
In 2010, immigrant rights groups were up in arms about the “injustice” of the program. NBC posted an AP article that seems to represent this trend.
“The San Francisco sheriff wanted nothing to do with the program, and the City Council in Washington, D.C., blocked use of the fingerprint plan in the nation’s capital. Colorado is the latest to debate the program, called Secure Communities, and immigrant groups have begun to speak up, telling the governor in a letter last week that the initiative will make crime victims reluctant to cooperate with police “due to fear of being drawn into the immigration regime.”
Secure Communities was temporarily suspended by DHS policy from November 20, 2014, through January 25, 2017 citing budget cut reasons as part of its shutdown. It was reactivated on January 25, 2017 through the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, as a result of Executive Order No. 13768, entitled Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States. During FY 2017, ICE reported more than 43,300 convicted criminal aliens had been removed as a result of Secure Communities.
On September 8, 2016 the DHS OIG released its findings concerning whether USCIS uses these records effectively during the naturalization process. Not surprisingly, their report was a condemnation of the process.
USCIS granted U.S. citizenship to at least 858 individuals ordered deported or removed under another identity when, during the naturalization process, their digital fingerprint records were not available.
The digital records were not available because although USCIS procedures require checking pplicants’ fingerprints against both the Department of Homeland Security’s and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) digital fingerprint repositories, neither contains all old fingerprint records. Not all old records were included in the DHS repository when it was being developed.
Further, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has identified, about 148,000 older fingerprint records that have not been digitized of aliens with final deportation orders or who are criminals or fugitives.
The FBI repository is also missing records because, in the past, not all records taken during immigration encounters were forwarded to the FBI.
As long as the older fingerprint records have not been digitized and included in the repositories, USCIS risks making naturalization decisions without complete information and, as a result, naturalizing additional individuals who may be ineligible for citizenship or who may be trying to obtain U.S. citizenship fraudulently.
Operation Janus sprang out of the early pilot program to make sure ICE removed those who did not qualify for citizenship either through false identities, criminal activities, or for certain other activities like outdated visas were apprehended and returned to country of origin. Obviously, it too was discontinued along with the Secure Communities umbrella and was again activated after Trump took office.
Why is this important? Because now there are employees working to submit all the old non-digitized fingerprints and update records. As a result, we are hearing of people being rounded up and their citizenship revoked. Needless to say, the liberals are highly emotional and incensed that this is actually coming to fruition.
(As a side note, the Janus Global Operations corporation was used to handle the E-Verify program. It had office locations in: Afghanistan • Bosnia • Egypt • Germany • Iraq • Laos • Libya • Mozambique • Nigeria • Somalia • South Africa • Turkey • Uganda • United Arab Emirates • United Kingdom • Huntsville, AL • Lenoir City, TN • Washington D.C. The company merged with Henderson Group plc between September and October 2016. The merger was finalized in early 2017 according to a business article from StreetInsider. Both are considered global investment and management firms. There is no effort at speculation here simply an interesting fact.
Along with this fact is the note that in particular those with serious criminal histories mysteriously despite having been processed through prison systems had their fingerprints removed or simply not placed in the database for the Secure Communities program from 2009 forward.)
Washington Times posted an article in September 2016 on this issue but given the election cycle, it received little concentrated notice except as fuel to rant against then candidate Trump.
They should have been deported, but hundreds of illegal immigrants from dangerous countries were instead granted citizenship by Homeland Security because officials never checked their fingerprints to find out their real identities, the department’s inspector general said in a staggering report Monday.
At least two of those who got citizenship have since been investigated for ties to terrorism, and two others managed to gain jobs in secure areas of airports.
“The safety and security of the homeland must be the overriding objective of our leaders when it comes to our immigration policy,” Mr. Trump said in a statement hours after the arrest of Ahmad Khan Rahami, whom authorities captured after a brief gunbattle.
The HMA Law Firm Blawg is merely one of several news posts where politicians and attorneys who are sworn to uphold the law are already making noise again. It also is an indication of what to expect as more are rounded up by ICE. For instance Rewire.
Enter Operation Janus. I will not be alarmist, but I can no longer give such advice. [that once naturalized immigrants can’t be deported]
On January 5, 2018 the first casualty of Operation Janus lost his citizenship: Baljinder Singh (aka Davinder Singh) of India. Two other Operation Janus cases (Parvez Manzoor Khan and Rashid Mahmood, both of Pakistan) in September apparently remain pending.
The DOJ is investigating 315,000 cases in which people were granted citizenship without the proper fingerprint data available. USCIS intends to refer approximately another 1,600 for denaturalization prosecution. It remains to be seen how they will decide which cases to pursue – most of these 315,000 may have been granted citizenship on incomplete data, but now the data will be checked and perhaps nothing will turn up. If there is any irregularity, however, prosecution becomes possible, and if there is a hint of fraud, it becomes likely.
Denaturalization can be prosecuted whenever citizenship was “unlawfully procured” – it does *not* require there to be fraud. Mistaken grants of permanent residence or citizenship count as “unlawful procurement” of citizenship. So it will be up to the DOJ to decide whether to prosecute. I need not remind you that Jeff Sessions heads the DOJ.
Again we see how the lax and irresponsible actions of the last administration have harmed our citizens and deliberately allowed “criminal” activity illegals to be fast tracked to citizenship. The question most often asked and that should be answered is ‘WHY?’ The second is which employees were directly responsible and how much money have taxpayers paid out trying to make our country secure that has been pocketed by corrupt employees and politicians?
So now again we see that people who have criminal records, misrepresented themselves, or were fast tracked into citizenship by the Obama administration are finally being held to account for the very thing which they knew was wrong. Still we are getting outrage and illogical rants from liberals who are determined to champion each individual and castigate the very program that might have prevented some of the last eight years of terrorist actions or murders against innocent citizens.