It’s bad enough the United States is dealing with an immigration crisis and doesn’t know how many dangerous criminals are living illegally in the country — but it’s even worse that the Obama-era Department of Justice directly contributed to the problem.
A scathing new report from the Office of Inspector General has revealed that in around three years during Barack Obama’s second term, the government brought some 5,500 foreign nationals — many of them known criminals — into the United States as part of a sponsorship program.
The idea was that in exchange for being allowed to stay in America, the foreigners would provide information that is useful to investigations. But shockingly, the government promptly “lost” at least 62 of them inside our country — and the number of missing nationals could be much higher.
“Department of Justice components can sponsor foreign nationals to be present in the United States to help support investigations and prosecutions,” the watchdog inspector general explained in the report.
A total of 5,496 foreigners were brought in between fiscal years 2015 and 2017, which actually means from October 2014 to September 2017. President Trump was in office for only the final eight months of that period, while Obama presided over three years during that time.
“These individuals may otherwise be considered inadmissible to the United States due to their association with criminal enterprises,” the IG continued. [Emphasis added.]
Yes, you read that right: Our oh-so-wise government imported literally thousands of foreigners who wouldn’t be able to enter the country because of their illegal backgrounds.
It might be one thing if those foreigners were being closely monitored; after all, their testimony and cooperation with law enforcement as informants could help put cartels and terrorists out of business.
But the Obama-era DOJ was appallingly lax about tracking them.
“In February 2018, DHS identified over 1,000 DOJ-sponsored foreign nationals for whom DHS did not have current information. As of August 2018, DHS was still seeking information regarding 665 sponsorships,” the report found.
Translation: The government has no idea where they are. And in dozens of cases, they’ve confirmed that foreigners are purposely evading authorities and missing inside our country.
“In addition, during our audit, we identified a total of 62 sponsored foreign nationals who had absconded from DOJ control,” the IG wrote.
This cannot be overemphasized. These aren’t just random immigrants — many of them have direct connections to criminal enterprises including terrorism, which is the reason the government wanted them to enter the country and act as informants or witnesses.
Officials were even forced to admit there were strong incentives for criminal foreigners to abuse the system and then disappear inside the United States.
“Significant risks accompany the sponsoring of foreign nationals for use in law enforcement investigations because these individuals may be associated with criminal activity and motivated only by the ability to temporarily reside in the United States,” the report read.
“[T]he monitoring policies and practices currently executed by the DOJ components that sponsor foreign nationals do not adequately mitigate the risks associated with bringing individuals into the United States who may have criminal backgrounds or involvement in disreputable activities,” it read.
The next sentence should be a giant red flag to anyone paying attention.
“[W]e do not have assurance that the components have adequately executed their monitoring responsibilities to mitigate the risks involved with sponsoring foreign nationals and to fulfill their obligation to protect the public,” the inspector general said. Feel safer yet?
Here’s the bottom line: The government messed up, big time. It purposely imported known criminals into our country, then promptly lost track of dozens or possibly more. Most of it happened on Barack Obama’s watch, yet another example of that administration’s incompetence.
It’s time to take immigration security seriously, and that includes holding officials responsible when they drop the ball. This put American citizens at risk, and we deserve answers.
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