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Shocking Irregularities in Screening Aliens for Terror Ties

Illegal aliens on an ICE deportation flight to Guatemala
Illegal aliens on an ICE deportation flight to Guatemala (Illustrative photo: John Moore/Getty Images)

An audit on the screening practices of known or suspected terrorists made by Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) showed non-compliance with proper protocol in every file that was checked, The Washington Free Beacon reported.

The audit was made by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a follow-up to 2011 recommendations made by the department for screening aliens who maybe terrorists.

Of the 40 case files surveyed, DHS auditors found that all 40 cases had at least one instance of noncompliance with the Known or Suspected Terrorist Encounter Protocol (KSTEP). The cases sampled occurred during the Obama years, between 2013-2015.

However, ICE noted that the problems have continued into the Trump administration where they found 19 further documented cases since 2016 in which ICE workers in the field failed to send their reports to ICE headquarters as required.

In addition, as of July 2017, nine field offices and smaller offices did not have “the infrastructure necessary to communicate derogatory information about known or suspected terrorists.”

“The lack of real-time information sharing capabilities jeopardizes ICE’s ability to make decisions on known or suspected terrorists,” the DHS stated.

The audit also blasted sanctuary cities and their law enforcement agencies that refuse to cooperate with ICE, saying such practices prevent the government from identifying “possible terrorist connections” in illegal aliens.

The main problems cited in the audit were:

  • Failure to run initial background checks
  • Not placing a hard copy of evidence of an alien’s ties to terror in his or her case file
  • No continued screening when an alien is released
  • No access by ICE field offices to DHS classified networks (which would enable them to communicate derogatory information about an alien’s terror ties)
  • Weak management controls
  • Limited program oversight

As a result, ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (the office which screens aliens) “may be missing opportunities to identify, take into custody, communicate status of, and make decisions on those aliens who pose the highest risk to national security and public safety,” the report concluded.

 

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