800,000 Illegal Immigrants Ordered Deported Remain in US, Could Receive Benefits
Nearly 800,000 illegal immigrants who have been ordered deported still remain in the United States, and many of them, including convicted criminals, are getting access to "secure areas, education grants, and housing assistance" in addition to food stamps and driver's licenses.
An audit of the verification and screening system states and the federal government use to prevent illegal immigrants from receiving benefits found it fails nearly 12% of the time.
“The failures in our sample include individuals who applied for unemployment and disability insurance, food stamps, driver’s licenses and other benefits,” the auditors said. “Several individuals had criminal records, including assault with a deadly weapon, extortion, drug convictions and other convictions such as burglary, stalking and child abuse.”
The Department of Homeland Security inspector general's audit found that nearly "800,000 immigrants are living in the U.S. who already have been ordered deported but have not yet left — or been removed by the government — from the country." And because the the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program, which "is supposed to maintain an up-to-date list of those deportable aliens so that other government agencies are aware of their status and know they should be denied benefits," fails nearly 12% of the time, many of these 800,000 immigrants also are illegally receiving taxpayer-funded benefits.
According to the audit, "a random sample of queries to the system found that 12 percent of the time, the system OKs an immigrant who should have been deported," and many have received benefits for which they did not qualify.
These findings are disturbing because states and the federal government primarily use SAVE, which is run by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), to determine whether those who are applying for benefits such as food stamps, welfare, driver's licenses, and health benefits under Obamacare, are illegal immigrants.
USCIS Director Alejandro N. Mayorkas said "part of the problem is that the records span multiple agencies, including USCIS and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement."
“USCIS will work with ICE to map a way forward to ensure that more timely information is shared,” he said.
The audit even found that a man who was "was convicted of homicide and manslaughter" and ordered deported "was still green-lighted by SAVE when the District of Columbia checked to see if he was eligible for student aid."
According to the Washington Times, "that man has since been deported."