Monday, 23 January 2017

Claims of Corrupt Immigration Contractors Go Unexamined, Investigators Say

WASHINGTON — Dozens of cases of possible wrongdoing by contract workers at the Department of Homeland Security agency responsible for citizenship, visas and green cards have sat idle for two years because internal investigators say they have been denied the authority to look into the allegations, interviews and documents show.

Investigators at the agency, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, say they have repeatedly warned top managers that unaddressed allegations of corruption among contractors could put the immigration system at risk.

In 2015, they prepared a presentation, which was obtained by The New York Times, warning agency leadership that an inability to investigate contract workers had “possible national security implications.”

Internal agency documents show nearly 70 uninvestigated cases of alleged wrongdoing involving contract employees, including accusations that these workers were involved in bribery schemes, distribution of child pornography on agency computers and illegal use of government law enforcement databases.

The agency declined to respond to questions about its legal justification in stopping investigations into misconduct by contract workers. The same type of workers at other Homeland Security agencies are subject to internal inquiries.

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