Press Releases

Culberson Introduces Bill to Halt Alien Naturalizations After 858 Aliens Illegally Gain Citizenship

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Washington, September 29, 2016 | comments

Representative John Culberson (TX-07) introduced H.R. 6198, which places an immediate freeze on alien naturalizations until the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uploads all remaining paper based fingerprint cards to the digital database, IDENT.

Earlier this month, the DHS Inspector General report revealed that at least 858 aliens from “special interest countries” were granted citizenship despite having pending deportation orders under another identity.

“It is absolutely outrageous that these 858 aliens were able to defraud the government because these paper based fingerprints were not uploaded. It is even more outrageous that there are currently 148,000 aliens with deportation orders that have not had fingerprints uploaded so this could occur again. These 858 individuals were meant to be deported, and instead, they were granted the rights of citizens, including the ability to sponsor other aliens for entry into the United States and hold jobs in law enforcement positions,” Rep. Culberson said. “My bill forces DHS to upload all of the remaining paper fingerprint records into the government database so that there will never be any excuse for this to happen again.”

H.R. 6198 would also require DHS to refer cases to the Department of Justice (DOJ) when they’re aware that an alien was unlawfully naturalized, and requires DOJ to enforce existing law to revoke their ill-gotten citizenship. This provision ensures that any individual who defrauds the government in an attempt to gain citizenship will lose their citizenship and be deported immediately.

Rep. Culberson’s legislation also requires DHS to rerun the fingerprints of any pending applicants once these paper prints are digitized to ensure no alien slips through the cracks. This bill does not prevent DHS from accepting naturalization applications or conducting adjudication interviews. 

H.R. 6198 is supported by Center for Immigration Studies, the Federation for American Immigration Reform and NumbersUSA. Cosponsors are Reps. Lou Barletta, Steve Chabot, Louie Gohmert, Michael McCaul, Pete Olson, Pete Sessions, and Lamar Smith.

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To read the Federation of American Immigration Reform's letter of support for H.R. 6198, click here.

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