Watchdog warns Biden admin’s vetting of asylum seekers, illegal immigrants has ‘dangerous’ weaknesses

A concerning new report from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General concluded that DHS has not been effectively screening and vetting non-citizens and asylum seekers entering the United States.

The report, obtained by Fox News’ Bill Melugin, showed that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents can not access all federal data to complete thorough screening and vetting of those seeking entry into the U.S.

The report stated that without capabilities to effectively screen and vet non-citizens, CBP is unable to conduct complete screening and vetting of all non-citizen travelers at air and land ports of entry.

Additionally, the inspector general’s office said that without a dedicated technology capability and resources to conduct interim screenings, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may not promptly identify asylum seekers with derogatory information who remain in the country for extended periods of time while awaiting an asylum decision.

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March 2022: Migrants detained at a Border Patrol facility in Del Rio Sector.  (DHS Inspector General’s Office)

“DHS will remain at risk of admitting dangerous persons into the country or enabling asylum seekers who may pose significant threats to public safety and national security to continue to reside in the United States, until these challenges are addressed,” the report read.

In response to the report, DHS agreed with all five recommendations the Office of Inspector General made to begin trying to fix the problem.

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WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES – JANUARY 5: An exterior view of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Building in Washington D.C., United States on January 5, 2023. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a federal law enforcement agency under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  ((Photo by Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images))

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The recommendations included fixing data access restrictions, developing new policies for checking names, updating technology, updating screening requirements for certain individuals and working to automate security checks for asylum applicants.

Border Patrol agents stopped a human smuggling attempt near Laredo, Texas.  (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

This report comes as concerns over border security are on the rise after eight Tajikistan nationals with ties to ISIS were busted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force in three major cities recently. The individuals were arrested in New York City, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

Last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee that there is an increasing concern of a potential coordinated attack in the U.S., similar to the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) attack in March at aconcert hall in Russia.

FBI DIRECTOR WARNS OF JIHADIST ATTACK IN US, SIMILAR TO RUSSIAN CONCERT HALL: ‘HEIGHTENED TERRORIST THREAT’

Migrants are processed by CBP agents after crossing into the U.S. through the Rio Grande. (Fox News Digital/ Jon Michael Raasch)

Wray told members of the subcommittee that when he met with them last year, he walked them through how the U.S. was already in a heightened threat environment, and since then, threats from foreign terrorists have risen to another level.

“Just in the time that I’ve been FBI director, we’ve disrupted multiple terrorist attacks and cities and communities around the country. We need funding to continue protecting America from terrorism,” Wray previously said.

Fox News Digital’s Greg Wehner contributed to this report.

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