USCIS pressured agents to approve immigration visas, even when fraud suspected (Alejandro Mayorkas)
Higher-ups within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services are pressuring rank-and-file officers to rubber-stamp immigrants’ visa applications, sometimes against the officers’ will, according to a Homeland Security report and internal documents exclusively obtained by The Daily.
A 40-page report, drafted by the Office of Inspector General in September but not publicly released, details the immense pressure immigration service officers are under to approve visa applications quickly, sometimes while overlooking concerns about fraud, eligibility or security...
The report does not call out any particular officials and indicates that the agency has had a problem with valuing quantity over quality since at least the 1980s.
But high-ranking USCIS officials said the pressure has heightened after the Obama administration appointed Alejandro Mayorkas as director in August 2009 during an effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform, bringing with him a mantra of "get to yes."
[From the OIG's report:] "63 of 254 Immigration Services Officers (24.8%) responded that they have been pressured to approve questionable applications." "Several USCIS employees informed us that officers have been required to approve specific cases against their will."
"Another 35 ISOs (13.9%) had serious concerns concerns that employees who focus on fraud or ineligibility were evaluated unfairly."
For background, see Alejandro Mayorkas, skilled immigration, Obama immigration, and Gary Locke. While these appear to be short-term visas, note also that during the Bill Clinton administration Doris Meissner of the INS embarked on a crusade to approve as many citizenship applications as possible in order to increase the number of Democrats voting.