An estimated 75 percent of applicants for immigrant benefits - green cards, work visas, and a host of other documents - at a major federal processing center were not screened through the U.S. terrorism watch list over the past four years, the Daily Bulletin has learned.Now, read Chapter 3 of the 9/11 Commission Staff Report.
The error - on nearly 3 million applications dating to 2002 - was confirmed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers at the National Benefits Center in Lee's Summit, Mo., near Kansas City. The center is one of several facilities across the country that process foreign applications for immigrant benefits.
Numerous Department of Homeland Security e-mails - sent the day after British authorities uncovered major terror plot - noted that supervisors and adjudicators at the Missouri center were not aware that a simple touch of a computer key would have allowed them to check the names of applicants against the highest-priority terrorist list. According to the e-mails and the adjudicators themselves, up to 2.8 million applications at the center dating to 2002 did not get such checks.
Robert Cowan, director of the National Benefits Center, denied that benefits were processed incorrectly and said any failed background checks were given to supervisors for final review. Cowan added that the 75 percent figure was attributable to employees not properly marking enforcement documents, misspelling names, or leaving out names altogether...
Thu, 08/24/2006 - 10:49 · Importance: 1