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Biden admin ‘at risk’ of letting suspected terrorists into the country, watchdog finds

by

Daily Caller News Foundation

The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General determined that federal immigration authorities are not properly vetting the millions of noncitizens entering and living in the U.S., warning that suspected terrorists could slip through the cracks.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) does not have complete access to federal data to fully vet foreign nationals entering the country via ports of entry, potentially allowing in terrorists and other dangerous criminals, according to a DHS inspector general report. Additionally, the report found United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is not conducting complete checks on asylum seekers already in the country to ensure they have no suspicious background information on their records.

The inspector general found that USCIS did not always conduct timely screenings of over 400,000 affirmative asylum applicants between October 2017 and March 2023. Additionally, USCIS lacks adequate technology and procedures to perform interim screenings of asylum applicants whose cases were not adjudicated within the required three-month time period.

Until DHS agencies address these issues, the report says, federal immigration authorities remain at risk of allowing “dangerous persons” into the country or allowing asylum seekers who pose “significant threats to public safety and national security” to continue living in the country.

“However, without the capabilities to effectively screen and vet, CBP is unable to conduct complete screening and vetting of all noncitizen travelers at air and land [ports of entry],” the report concluded. “Without having full access to all federally held data, querying all noncitizens entering the country, and having biometric matching capability at all [ports of entry], CBP is at risk of allowing criminals, suspected terrorists, or other nefarious actors to enter the United States.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and FBI officials arrested several foreign nationals with suspected ties to ISIS over the last week. Those noncitizens had been allowed into the country before a major sting operation uncovered red flags in their background.

Millions of illegal immigrants have entered the country during President Joe Biden’s tenure. Consequently, the number of suspected terrorists encountered by immigration officials has spiked, with a more than 2,500% increase since the previous administration.

The inspector general report gave several recommendations to improve vetting insufficiencies, such as implementing a process to continuously monitor certain asylum applicants in order to identify noncitizens who may pose a threat to the U.S., updating screening requirements, and ensuring federal immigration authorities take “appropriate action” when derogatory information is flagged, among other recommendations.

DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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