Judicial Watch • U.S. Clears Criminal Illegals with Removal Orders for Public Benefits

U.S. Clears Criminal Illegals with Removal Orders for Public Benefits

U.S. Clears Criminal Illegals with Removal Orders for Public Benefits

DECEMBER 19, 2012

As if President Obama’s stealth amnesty program weren’t bad enough, one in eight foreigners who have been ordered deported—including serious criminals—subsequently get approved by the government to collect public benefits while they live in the country illegally.

This is yet another one of those sad, only in America stories. The very government that boots an illegal immigrant out of the country later clears the violator to receive taxpayer-funded benefits. In some cases the illegal aliens have been convicted of serious crimes like child abuse, assault with a deadly weapon and drug-related offenses yet Uncle Sam rewards them with free health insurance (Medicaid) and food stamps.

Many Americans may wonder how this could possibly occur.  Here is how, according to a new federal audit; the Homeland Security agency in charge of keeping track of foreigners, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) isn’t doing its job. The agency is headed by Alejandro Mayorkas, a Clinton federal prosecutor who resigned in shame after orchestrating the pardon of a major league drug trafficker from Argentina serving a 15-year sentence.

Incredibly, President Obama handpicked Mayorkas to head the Homeland Security agency responsible for overseeing lawful immigration to the United States. Turns out his agency is using an outdated and inept system to keep track of foreigners who have been ordered removed. The government estimates that there are about 800,000 illegal immigrants in the U.S. who have ignored deportation orders.

Some are bold enough to apply for unemployment and disability insurance, food stamps, driver’s licenses and other benefits. When they do, a special USCIS database called Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) is supposed to flag them. This is supposed to prevent American taxpayers from supporting these outlaws and should ultimately end with deportation. Incredibly, SAVE approves one in eight illegal immigrants who have been ordered to leave to get public benefits as if they’re legal residents.

Read all about it in this unbelievable report made public this month by the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General. Investigators found that SAVE regularly provides “outdated and erroneous” information about an individual’s immigration status to benefit granting and licensing agencies. The system was “generally not updated when the immigration court issued a decision to deport, remove, or exclude an individual,” investigators found.  

The report includes a number of examples, including a man who was deported after being convicted of homicide and manslaughter. When he applied for student aid in the District of Columbia, SAVE cleared him. In another case an immigrant who obtained legal residence was deported after multiple felony convictions yet was approved by SAVE to receive public health benefits in California.

Mayorkas, the USCIS director, doesn’t deny that his agency needs to do a better job of updating SAVE and promises that his agency will work with others to “map a way forward to ensure that more timely information is shared.”

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