It was made public on Monday that thousands of green cards were mailed to wrong addresses and can’t be accounted for, thus jeopardizing national security, The Daily Caller reports.
The Department of Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth said in a statement:
“It appears that thousands of green cards have simply gone missing. In the wrong hands, green cards may enable terrorists, criminals, and undocumented aliens to remain in the United States. It is vital that USCIS [U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services] ensure better tools and procedures are in place to mitigate such risks.”
According to the report, there have been over 200,000 reports over the last three years from approved applicants who didn’t receive their green cards, “but the actual number of missing cards is unknown.”
Both technological problems with the USCIS immigration database and the U.S. Postal Service are to blame for the unaccounted for cards, according to Roth. Much of the problem stems from USCIS’s “flawed design and functionality” of its Electronic Immigration System, or ELIS. The IG recommended the system be upgraded to include standards for finding lost cards and to ensure they aren’t used by the wrong people.
From the report:
The number of reports about missing cards increased from 44,519 in fiscal year 2013, to 67,247 in fiscal year 2014, to 92,645 in fiscal year 2015, partly because of technical problems with the agency’s immigration database and partly due to U.S. Postal Service issues, according to the IG.
The IG also found USCIS produced at least 19,000 cards with incorrect information or were duplicates. USCIS, in addition, gave cards with 10-year expiration dates to 2,400 immigrants approved only for two-year conditional residence status. USCIS hasn’t recovered the majority of those incorrect cards.
In March, the initial audit revealed only “hundreds of green cards” were sent to the wrong address, but Roth said after Monday's audit, “The problem was far worse than originally thought.”
In its own defense, the USCIS said it just sends the cards to the last known address of the applicant.
No government ineptitude to see here. Move along.