The Obama administration is encouraging immigration employees to “take advantage of overtime” because it’s “end of the year crunch time” to swear in as many new “citizen voters” as possible before the election.
An email from a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services official, along with an accompanying thread of correspondence, has been provided to Fox News, who has released part of the correspondence to the public.
“The Field Office due to the election year needs to process as many of their N-400 cases as possible between now and FY 2016,” reads the email, which was disclosed to FoxNews.com by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who chairs the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
“If you have cases in this category or other pending, you are encouraged to take advantage of the OT if you can,” the email continues. “This will be an opportunity to move your pending naturalization cases. If you have not volunteered for OT, please consider and let me know if you are interested.”
Parts of the email were redacted before it was disclosed to FoxNews.com, but it was sent by the branch chief of the Houston Field Office District 17. It was not clear to whom it was addressed.
“I couldn’t have said it better!” reads the July 21 note introducing the forwarded missive. “It’s the end of the year crunch time, so let’s get crunchy! Go Team Houston! Thanks for all your hard work!”
Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) fired off a letter on Wednesday to Jeh Johnson, Homeland Security secretary, pointing out that it is apparent they agency is ramping up their citizenship drive on purpose, right before the presidential election.
“Your department seems intent on approving as many naturalization cases as quickly as possible at a time when it should instead be putting on the brakes and reviewing past adjudications,” they wrote.
“Considering that USCIS already has a troubling record of inadequate review of naturalization applications, and mistakenly giving away citizenship to terrorists, criminals and other fraudsters, it is disturbing that they are now in full and blind rubber stamp mode to crank out new citizens,” said Jessica Vaughan, director of Policy Studies for the Center for Immigration Studies.
A USCIS official denied they are intentionally pushing citizenship applications because of the election – rather they claim that because of the election, they just have more applications, and they are trying to get them processed in the normal time period allotted for the naturalization process, which is five to seven months, “regardless of external events such as elections.”
Not so, said Dan Stein, president of Federation for American Immigration Reform. He said the big push shows the Obama administration is “using levers to help Clinton win.”
“In the pursuit of a partisan advantage, one party has decided integrity in the system is irrelevant,” Stein said. “They don’t really care about checking backgrounds or verifying status and eligibility – it is more about increasing the number of eligible voters in the upcoming election.”
We reported earlier this year about the Obama administration announcing a $10 MILLION GRANT for a special citizenship drive, which even included a waiver of the $680 application fee. This fact flies in the face of any claim that this is just business as usual.
The federal immigration services (USCIS) had reported earlier this year that it was expecting 828,000 total citizenship applications this year – up from 815,000 expected last year.
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