Immigration officers’ union: End political corruption in immigration before amnesty

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The president of the union representing 12,000 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services adjudications officers and staff is calling on Congress to bring an end to the political corruption at his agency prior to bringing up any “amnesty proposals.”

Kenneth Palinkas, the president of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, issued a scathing statement Thursday, pressing Congress to fix the problems at USCIS before bring up more legislation.

“At USCIS, our institutional mission has been corrupted by politics, and I hope these abuses will be examined and fixed before any amnesty proposal is brought forward in the House,” Palinkas said.

Palinkas listed five problems USCIS is facing:

–USCIS adjudications officers lack the mission support to safely screen and review applicants for immigration benefits. This includes the inability to conduct in-person interviews, the failure of our software system, the lack of training and office space, and pressure to rubber-stamp applications. We have become an approval machine.

–Failure to protect taxpayers from abuses of the welfare system by those granted immigration benefits

–Administrative orders that require us to grant immigration benefits to those who, under law, are not properly eligible

–Approval quotas placed on adjudicators that emphasizes clearing applications more than vetting them

–A management culture that sees illegal aliens and foreign nationals, not US citizens and taxpayers, as the customer. We believe in treating all with respect and always will, but our agency’s focus must be keeping the country safe and secure on behalf of the American people.

The USCIS union president further lamented the current process immigration reform is taking in the House, explaining that without confronting the problems at USCIS, the proposals —- especially if the House blends its bills together with the “extremely dangerous Senate bill” in conference — will make the situation worse.

“These plans are being pursued before first reforming the very agency — USCIS — that will be charged with reviewing these tens of millions of green card, temporary visa and citizenship applications,” he said. “Advancing such measures without first confronting the widespread abuses at USCIS would be to invite disaster.”

Palinkas voiced concerns about reports that the House is considering proposals to legalize the undocumented immigrant children.

“Legislators, including [Majority Leader Eric] Cantor and [House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob] Goodlatte, have suggested that it is improper to apply immigration law to younger illegal aliens. But if it is improper to apply immigration law to one specific group of illegal aliens, then why should we expect future illegal aliens in this group to be treated any differently?” he asked.

“This seems like an argument for extending birthright citizenship in the future to include the foreign citizens of other countries,” he added. “Should we just expect that the next Secretary at DHS will use the arguments we are hearing in the House to enact the next Deferred Action program in anticipation of the next legislated amnesty?”

Palinkas and his union were vocal opponents of the Senate immigration bill earlier this year.

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