Judicial Watch Sues Obama Administration for Records about Citizenship Push for Immigrants
NOVEMBER 19, 2015
Administration Withholding Documents on Diverting Money from Immigration Enforcement to Election Year “New Americans” Program
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking records related to letters sent by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to current green card holders urging individuals to become naturalized U.S. citizens prior to the 2016 election (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (No. 1:15-cv-01702)). The lawsuit was filed on October 16, 2015.
In April 2015, President Obama’s “White House Task Force on New Americans,” issued a strategic action plan to help millions of green card holders become U.S. citizens. Immigration Services is reportedly reallocating vast resources away from its “Electronic Immigration System,” a computerized system designed to facilitate national security and criminal background checks, to a campaign of letters to all nine million green card holders urging them to naturalize before the 2016 election. The Obama administration push includes federal funding for leftist groups that advocate for illegal aliens and amnesty.
On May 14, 2015, Judicial Watch submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to Immigration Services asking for
- Records related to letters sent by [Immigration Services] to current green card holders urging such individuals to become naturalized U.S. citizens prior to the 2016 election, including, but not limited to, memoranda, guidance, and/or instructions provided to [Immigration Services] staff regarding such letters and records of [Immigration Services] funds allocated to such efforts.
Judicial Watch sued after the agency failed to respond to the request as required by the federal Freedom of Information Act.
Immigration Services would normally conduct a criminal and security background investigation of an immigration applicant upon his or her filing for naturalization. In 2012, Immigration Services abandoned required background checks, adopting, instead, “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) executive amnesty, an expansion of which has been ruled illegal by the federal courts. Nevertheless, thousands of illegal aliens exempted from deportation under Obama’s unilateral amnesty moves are also potentially eligible for citizenship. The Obama administration has already have admitted into the United States a large number of people with documented ties to ISIS and other radical Islamic groups. Refugees (from Syria, Somalia, and other countries) can become citizens as soon as six years after being granted refugees or asylum status in the United States.
Despite the release of criminal aliens by the administration and other immigration non-enforcement, violations, and failures, the administration is reportedly expanding the naturalization effort.
The Obama “New American” initiative is reminiscent of Al Gore’s Clinton-era “Citizenship USA” program, which saw citizenship applications approved without the required FBI criminal background checks in the run-up to 1996 presidential election, which President Clinton was reelected.
PJ Media reports:
Naturalization plus mobilization is the explicit aim of the DHS “Task Force on New Americans.”
Multiple sources at DHS confirm that political appointees are prioritizing naturalization ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Empirical voting patterns among immigrants from minority communities demonstrate that these new voters will overwhelmingly vote for Democrat candidates. If the empirical rates of support for Democrats continued among these newly naturalized minority voters, Democrats could enjoy an electoral net benefit of millions of new voters in the 2016 presidential election.
“The Obama administration is violating the law to cover up it plans to use tax money to rush through citizenship for millions of legal and illegal aliens just in time for the 2016 elections,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Obama administration is importing voters and granting unilateral amnesty to help win elections at the expense of the safety and security of American citizens.”