The U.S. government mistakenly granted citizenship to at least 858 immigrants who had pending deportation orders from countries of concern to national security or with high rates of immigration fraud.
The Homeland Security Department's inspector general says in a report released Monday that the immigrants used different names or birthdates to apply for citizenship with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Such discrepancies weren't caught because their fingerprints were missing from government databases.
The report does not identify any of the immigrants by name, but Inspector General John Roth's auditors say they are all from so-called ``special interest countries'' those that present a national security concern for the United States or neighboring countries with high rates of immigration fraud. The report did not identify those countries.
Republican Senate candidate Dan Carter says the role of government is to protect and serve, and the Department of Homeland Security has failed to do that. Carter continued by saying that vulnerabilities in the immigration and national security systems consistently expose innocent civilians to real threats here and abroad. Carter questioned who is going to answer for what he call an "egregious breakdown of safety and security".