WASHINGTON — 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.