DHS OIG: Individuals with Multiple Identities in Historical Fingerprint Enrollment Records Who Have Received Immigration Benefits 

September 2017

As of April 2017 over 9,000 aliens USCIS identified as having multiple identities had received an immigration benefit. Report


DHS OIG: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Use of the Electronic Immigration System for Naturalization Benefits Processing 

January 2017

In March 2016, OIG reported system functionality and performance problems prevalent in two product lines operational in ELIS at that time. OIG's subsequent, ongoing review is now discovering alarming security concerns regarding inadequate applicant background checks, as well as significant USCIS problems in using ELIS to process naturalization benefits for immigrants. 

OIG recommends that USCIS halt plans to revert to using the Electronic Immigration System (ELIS) to process immigrant naturalization applications until it successfully addresses identified system deficiencies. Report




DHS OIG: USCIS Automation of Immigration Benefits Processing Remains Ineffective 

March 2016

Since 2005, USCIS has worked to transform its paper-based processes into an integrated and automated immigration benefits processing environment. As the DHS OIG previously reported, past automation attempts have been hampered by ineffective planning, multiple changes in direction, and inconsistent stakeholder involvement. 

USCIS now estimates that it will take three more years—over four years longer than estimated—and an additional $1 billion to automate all benefit types as expected. Report

Media Coverage

ABC News: DHS Watchdog Says Stalled Immigration System May Be Security Risk


GAO: Asylum: Additional Actions Needed to Assess and Address Fraud Risks 

March 2016

The total number of asylum applications, including both principal applicants and their eligible dependents, filed in fiscal year 2014 (108,152) is more than double the number filed in fiscal year 2010 (47,118). As of September 2015, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has a backlog of 106,121 principal applicants, of which 64,254 have exceeded required time frames for adjudication. 

USCIS and the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) have limited capabilities to detect asylum fraud. Various cases of fraud illustrate risks that may affect the integrity of the asylum system. Report

Media Coverage

Washington Times: Homeland Security ‘limited’ in ability to detect asylum fraud, watchdog finds


GAO: Firearms Trafficking: U.S. Efforts to Combat Firearms Trafficking to Mexico Have Improved, but Some Collaboration Challenges Remain 

January 2016

Violent crimes committed by drug trafficking organizations in Mexico often involve firearms, and a 2009 GAO report found that many of these firearms originated in the United States. ATF and ICE have sought to stem firearms trafficking from the United States to Mexico. 

According to data from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), 73,684 firearms (about 70 percent) seized in Mexico and traced from 2009 to 2014 originated in the United States. 

This report examines, among other things, (1) the origin of firearms seized in Mexico that have been traced by ATF, (2) the extent to which collaboration among U.S. agencies combating firearms trafficking has improved, and (3) the extent to which the National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy measures progress by U.S. agencies to stem firearms trafficking to Mexico. Report

Media Coverage

CNS NewsGAO: 70% of Firearms Seized in Mexico Came From USA




DHS OIG: U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Unmanned Aircraft System Program Does Not Achieve Intended Results or Recognize All Costs of Operations

December 2014

Although Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Unmanned Aircraft System program contributes to border security, after 8 years, CBP cannot prove that the program is effective because it has not developed performance measures. DHS OIG estimates it costs $12,255 per flight hour to operate the program; CBP’s calculation of $2,468 per flight hour does not include all operating costs. The $443 million CBP plans to spend on program expansion could be put to better use by investing in alternatives. Report

Media Coverage

Daily Caller: Homeland Security Watchdog Recommends Grounding Border Drones




DHS OIG: Supervision of Aliens Commensurate with Risk 

December 2011

Immigration and Customs Enforcement generally has an effectively designed decisionmaking process for determining whether to detain or release aliens.  

However, personnel could not always provide evidence that all aliens were screened against the Terrorist Watchlist; current policy for screening aliens from specially designated countries is not effective; and personnel did not always maintain accurate and up­ to-date information in the case management system. Report