A report from conservative watchdog Judicial Watch, from June 2013, which was just months after former President Barack Obama announced his “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program, revealed that Homeland Security had abandoned background checks on illegal aliens in order to meet amnesty requests.

“Documents Reveal that ‘Dreamers’ Order Opened Door to Relatives of Illegal Immigrants, “Inundating” Border Towns with Petitions for Admission,” Judicial Watch reported.

Tuesday evening, a federal judge in California, Judge William Alsup, ruled to temporarily block the Trump administration from ending Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, saying that the Department of Homeland Security’s “decision to rescind DACA was based on a flawed legal premise.”

Alsup declared that the DACA application process must continue as usual, while Congress works on legislation to address the future of the program.

Below is a portion of the stunning Judicial Watch report, dated June 11, 2013:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that documents obtained recently through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request show that the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) abandoned required background checks late last year, adopting, instead, costly “lean and lite” procedures in effort to keep up with the flood of amnesty applications spurred by President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) directive, which grants illegal aliens a two-year deferment from deportation.

Acting on a tip from a whistleblower at a federal law enforcement agency, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request with DHS, for “all communications, memoranda, emails, policy guidance, directives, initiatives, and any other correspondence respecting the scope and extent of background checks to be performed (or not) on aliens applying to the Obama administration’s DACA program.”  The FOIA was filed on October 26, 2012.  The Immigration and National Security Act (INA) mandates a “coordinated, uniform, and efficient,” system of background checks.  Instead, the FOIA documents reveal a costly, haphazard process, with only cursory review for the backgrounds of illegal aliens seeking “deferred status.”  Document highlights include:

  • In a series of agency memos beginning in September 14, 2012, field offices were told to expect the National Benefits Center (which collects all DACA applications) to conduct only “lean & lite” background checks on illegal alien applicants, and that, henceforth, “NBC will not perform full TECS checks or any evidence review on these cases before we ship to the field.” An October 14 memo reiterated that under the new “lean and lite” policy, “Hits will be sent to the field without resolution.” On October 25, the St. Paul Field Director conceded to staffers that the new “lean & lite” procedures were for an indefinite period of time, saying, “I just can’t tell you when things will revert back to the way they used to be.”
  • An email chain from September 5 and through November 14 indicates managerial pressure not to turn any illegal alien applicant away for lack of ID, including the explicit directive in an October 3 memo, “Biometric processing should not be refused solely because an applicant does not present an acceptable ID.” In an October 1 memo further restricting independent action by agency personnel, they were instructed, “Every two weeks field offices will report the number of DACA requestors who appear for biometrics collection at an ASC during the previous two week period, but were turned away without fingerprints or photographs being taken. Field offices will also need to provide the reason why the DACA requestor was turned away by the ASC ISO.”

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