Skip to comments.House panel to hear charges of immigration breaches
Posted on 04/06/2006 1:13:34 AM PDT by Marine Inspector
WASHINGTON - A former homeland security official will tell Congress Thursday morning that his one-time superiors are turning a blind eye towards deep-rooted corruption and the involvement of foreign agents in the nation's immigration system.
Michael Maxwell, who until early this year was the director of the Office of Security and Investigations at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, said in an interview Wednesday that his bosses "buried their heads in the sand" and refused to act on "major national-security vulnerabilities" that his team brought to their attention.
"These breaches comprise virtually every part of the immigration system, leaving vulnerabilities that have been and likely are being exploited by enemies of the United States," Maxwell says in testimony prepared for his appearance Thursday before California Republican Rep. Ed Royce's subcommittee on international terrorism.
Maxwell paints a picture of an agency that hasn't dedicated the resources necessary to investigate the hundreds of complaints against employees of the immigration service. The allegations range from crimes of bribery to extortion to espionage and undue foreign influence.
"We take any allegation waged against our agency very, very, very seriously," CIS press secretary Angie Alfonso-Royal said. Maxwell's allegations have been "directed to the inspector general and are currently under investigation - a testament to how seriously this organization takes allegations of misconduct," she said.
Maxwell's attached documents to his testimony include a chart that shows of the 47 investigative positions authorized for the Washington, D.C., headquarters, only 24 have been filled. And of the 41 staff members approved for the field offices, only 19 have been hired.
"The staff has been authorized, and we're in the process of filling those vacancies," Alfonso-Royal said.
Another document provides an update of complaints and investigations in Maxwell's unit as of Feb. 17.
One bribery complaint alleges that an official who decides whether to grant citizenship to applicants was selling immigration documents for $10,000.
"This investigation will be initiated pending receipt of additional resources to conduct numerous potential interviews," the report says. That same line is repeated with two other charges - one for bribery and one that says citizenship officials were disclosing information from law-enforcement databases to people outside the agency.
Maxwell's allegations were seconded in a report by the Government Accountability Office, a congressional watchdog, Royce said.
"Although the full extent of benefit fraud is not known, available evidence suggests that it is an ongoing and serious problem," the agency said in a March 6 report.
The report also said that "production goals" were being emphasized over fraud prevention. In the interests of clearing backlogs and moving cases along, people receive benefits before background checks are complete, Maxwell says.
"They are rubber-stamping these approvals of people already in the country," Royce said.
Alfonso-Royal declined to answer specific charges, citing the ongoing inspector general's investigation.
Beyond the benefit fraud, Maxwell pointed to cases of potential foreign-intelligence infiltration of the agency.
He cites a charge not yet investigated in which a Chinese-born U.S. citizen working for CIS allowed a family member to access the main law-enforcement database that immigration officers use to determine if someone has a clean record. The family member printed records from the database and left the building with them, Maxwell said.
"We do not know what records this person accessed or why, and yet this allegation is not being investigated," because "investigators are already being stretched to their limits."
Maxwell said he has other examples - and documentation to prove them - of foreign involvement in the immigration agency. Because those cases are in the hands of the FBI, he can share them only with the House panel behind closed doors, he said.
Royce said he believes one remedy for this problem is an amendment he attached to the immigration border-security bill that passed the House in December.
Royce's amendment would require thorough background checks be completed before any immigration benefit is granted. It would also change the mission of the agency, putting security ahead of the need to quickly adjudicate cases, he said.
USA can not even provide proper health care for Americans, so why even consider taking on Mexicos welfare rolls?
It is idoicy
You can't run God out of government, and then expect government to be Godly.
I hope this man is taking precautions to ensure his personal safety. It's become obvious over the past month that there are some very heavy-hitters involved on the OBL side, and the laws of our nation concern them not-in-the-least.
God Bless and keep all those with the courage to defend our nation in this dark hour.
Hey I give when I can, but when other conservative causes (ie. 2nd amendment rights organizations) send out emails asking for support, they usually include various prepared emails to be sent to legislators, and they will send them for free and then they ask for money. Which is fine, if I feel their cause is worth it I will send the money. I think someone needs to FLOOD both houses and the POTUS with emails (and snail mail) expressing how we feel, and I have yet to find an organization doing this. (and I have no time to do any speerheading of this myself)
America is in a crisis and our politicians need to stop acting like liberals and protect our borders with severe consequences for those that have no respect for America!
This is for all of you who think everything posslble is being done to protect our borders. NOT!
This is a flashback to the FBI warnings of impending terrorist activity in August of '01...
Bump for an article too important to be lost in the shuffle.
I case you haven't found it yet, www.numbersusa.com has free preaddressed, pre-written (if you choose) faxes.
Support our Minutemen Patriots!
Be Ever Vigilant!
Bttt! Another sickening read.
I received this today when I posted the same post in a different thread
I used it, I hope it is up and up.
Check out FAIR at http://www.fairus.org/.
They have a fax center where you can send faxes to any rep.
Yep, that's a bunch that want citizenship...no they don't, they just want America.
Whoops - there = their