DHS Plans to Grant Wave of Citizenship Prior to November’s Election




Justine Schwarz

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is pushing to grant citizenship to as many people as possible before the November 8 election. Administrative emails show that employees are being encouraged to work overtime to naturalize as many “citizen voters” as possible.

In an email leaked by Senator Ron Johnson, chair of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the DHS seems to be dipping into the political sphere.

“The Field Office due to the election year needs to process as many of their N-400 cases as possible between now and FY 2016…If you have cases in this category or other pending, you are encouraged to take advantage of the OT if you can,” says the email.

“This will be an opportunity to move your pending naturalization cases. IF you have not volunteered for OT, please consider and let me know if you are interested,” it continues.

Charles Grassley, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, believes that these actions make a bold political statement and put national security at risk.

“Your department seems intent on approving as many naturalization cases as quickly as possible at a time when it should instead be putting on the brakes and reviewing past adjudications,” Grassley stated in a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson.

Grassley continued to say that the Office of Inspector General report from that week found U.S. citizenship was granted to at least 858 individuals from “special interest” countries. These countries are either of concern to the national security of the United States or have high rates of immigration fraud.

Increasing overtime hours in an attempt to push cases through the system as quickly as possible is putting American citizens at risk. If the DHS is not taking action to prevent the errors that allowed 858 people to wrongfully gain citizenship, they cannot be trusted to keep this country safe.

Immigration policy is a major issue in the upcoming presidential election. In light of Donald Trump’s plans to create a “deportation task force” and Hillary Clinton’s plans to “stop the deporting of people who are living here doing their lives,” it seems recent actions by the DHS favor the Democratic nominee, placing politics above safety.