Thousands of Green Cards Lost

A new Inspector General report from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reveals that, over the past few years, thousands of green cards have been mishandled, either issued with false information such as date of birth, gender, name and photo or issued as duplicates. In certain cases, ten-year green cards were issued to people who were only entitled to a two-year card.

The director of US Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS), which manages immigration benefits, claims that the report has overstated some conclusions, insisting that no ineligible individuals were issued with green cards and that cards with minor errors were a fraction of the total issued every year. The director added that such cards would have to be stolen by someone who looked like the recipient and who had malicious intent for them to be misused.

DHS Inspector General, John Roth, claims that thousands of green cards have disappeared, and that this potentially enables dangerous individuals and criminals, as well as undocumented immigrants, to remain in the US when they have no legal right to do so.

In March, the watchdog found that hundreds of green cards may have been sent to the wrong addresses by USCIS. But, Roth now says that the situation may be more serious than was believed. In September, the Inspector General found that the US government had erroneously given citizenship to around 858 undocumented immigrants set for deportation.