Texas Congressman Seeks to Stop Naturalizations until DHS Fingerprint Repository is Updated

fingerprint_scan_rotator_640In response to a scathing report released last month by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General (IG), Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) has introduced H.R. 6198. This commonsense bill would ensure that ineligible, potentially dangerous individuals are not granted citizenship while DHS works to fully digitize its fingerprint records.

Specifically, the IG revealed that at least 858 individuals were granted citizenship despite having a final deportation order under another identity. While the report does not reveal the names of the immigrants or the countries of origin, the IG said that they are all from countries that are of concern to the national security of the United States or have high rates of immigration fraud. The report found that this egregious mistake occurred because neither the digital fingerprint repository at DHS nor the repository at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) contains all old fingerprint records of individuals who were previously deported. The IG report further noted that approximately 148,000 fingerprint records of individuals from “special interest countries” who had final deportation orders or who are criminals or fugitives have yet to be digitized.

At the recommendation of the IG, DHS has indicated that it is currently taking steps to digitize its fingerprint records. However, until the digitization of fingerprint records is complete, 148,000 individuals who are supposed to be deported could still be naturalized. In a time of heightened concern about terrorism, the risk posed by this possibility is far too great. In fact, the IG report identified that individuals who were naturalized mistakenly have even gone on to hold jobs in national security positions.

H.R. 6198 would prohibit United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from naturalizing any individual until the remaining paper-based fingerprint records are uploaded into the DHS digital fingerprint repository known as IDENT. Importantly, the bill would not prohibit those eligible from applying for naturalization or stop DHS from reviewing applications, even though the actual naturalization will be prevented until the fingerprint database is complete. The bill would also require DHS to refer cases to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for civil proceedings when they have knowledge that an individual was naturalized mistakenly. This provision ensures that any mistakes made by DHS can be swiftly corrected.

To learn more about the DHS IG report and this important piece of legislation, take a moment and listen to FAIR’s interview with Rep. Culberson:

avatar About RJ Hauman

RJ Hauman joined FAIR in 2015, bringing valuable legislative, regulatory, and political experience to the Government Relations department. He is responsible for reviewing and analyzing legislation and regulations, as well as building and maintaining relationships with Capitol Hill staff. During his time on Capitol Hill, RJ gained immigration policy experience as an aide to former Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA), who chaired the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement. RJ holds a B.A. in Political Science from Clemson University.


  1. Same for Colleges

    No foreign college transcripts allowed for admittance to replace legal Americans in scarce college slots….they can easily be forged and from China they are being forged.

    • avatar Leland says:

      Many of those Chinese students and workers come here to steal our technology. Quite a few have already been convicted of industrial espionage. The best zinger Trump got in last night was when Hillary said that he wants a “puppet” for president and he said “you’re the puppet”, which is absolutely true. She’s Wall Street’s puppet. A lot of millenials, who you think would be her strongest supporters, have seen the fraud she is because of the released e-mails. She bashes big business at rallies and then runs to give highly paid{off} speeches behind closed doors and tells them don’t worry because she doesn’t mean any of it.

  2. avatar Leland says:

    You would think that the hundreds who were “mistakenly” given citizenship had to have filled out numerous forms along the way in which they had to have lied about their record. Why is there even a question of withdrawing their citizenship.

    A story by Brian Bennett of Tribune Washington Bureau says: “Net migration from Mexico has remained below zero for several years, according to US and Mexican census data, with more people returning home to Mexico than entering the US illegally each year.”

    This is the 1984 version of the “news”, dismissing any concerns about illegal entry. First of all, any “data” from Mexico is highly suspect because they want more of their people here, legally or illegally. It’s in their interest to pad the figures of those “returning home”. Second, a study just released by our government showed that only half those crossing the southern border are apprehended, not the 80% that this administration claimed. For anyone who cares to look at the truth, the figures are there to prove there has been no real decrease in illegals.

    And in a story that defines irony, the Sierra Club recently moved to Oakland after 124 years in San Francisco due to “skyrocketing rents”. How long has FAIR been saying that mass immigration is causing rents and housing prices to climb out of reach of the average person in big cities. For that obvious fact, the Sierra Club trashed FAIR as a nativist racist group. Which is when they stopped getting a dime out of me. Enjoy Oakland.

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