Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Background Checks?

Not much use in determining if an immigrant should be admitted to the U.S. much less given citizenship. In fact, so-called background checks of immigrants and applicants for citizenship are nothing more than name and fingerprint checks. Not much use in determining the truth about an alien's background. Single Scope Background Investigations, as used to determine suitability for security clearances are good, they include interviews of neighbors and associates, polygraph exams are very useful, they get down to the truth and well designed questioning elicits important information, but they are expensive.

However, mere name checks, which include the nebulous information gathered from various intelligence sources can be useful when the information they provide is accepted at face value.

However, one cannot release that information without possibly revealing sources or exposing the the tenuous reliability of sources. It is though the way we are doing things now.

And the terrorists, criminals, and other frauds know that, and use it to fight deportation. Case in point:

San Francisco Chronicle October 18, 2011


Four years after Bosnian immigrant Mirsad Hajro applied for U.S. citizenship in 2003, the government turned him down based on evidence it repeatedly refused to divulge, despite a law that requires a prompt response to requests for information.

Now, a lawyer for the Richmond electrical engineer says he's learned that the evidence doesn't exist, a disclosure he plans to use in Hajro's upcoming trial for citizenship. Meanwhile, the leisurely way the immigration agency processes requests to see its records has caught the attention of a federal magistrate, who plans to order a nationwide speedup.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has shown a "pattern and practice of violations" of a law that requires it to respond to immigrants' information requests within 20 days, U.S. Magistrate Paul Grewal of San Jose said in a ruling last Thursday.

Grewal said 27 immigration lawyers submitted declarations saying the agency routinely takes months to disclose records in their cases. Hajro said he received his first response four months after he requested it followed by several others in the next nine months. None of the responses documented the reasons he was denied citizenship.

The requests were filed under the Freedom of Information Act, the 1967 law known as FOIA that allows members of the public to obtain federal government records unless disclosures would affect personal privacy, police investigations, national security or similar concerns.

Hajro's lawyer, Kip Evan Steinberg of San Rafael, said information obtained under FOIA is crucial in immigration cases because immigrants have no right to demand evidence from the federal agency's lawyers to help them prepare their cases - unlike criminal defendants, who can obtain pretrial evidence from prosecutors.

"The only way an alien can get a copy of what evidence the government has against him is through FOIA," Steinberg said.

Although a recent law requires expedited releases of information to immigrants facing deportation, he said, it doesn't apply to those seeking legal residence or naturalized citizenship, who often must appeal their cases without access to vital evidence.

Hajro entered the United States on a visa in 1999, when he was engaged to marry a U.S. citizen. After they wed, he obtained legal residence in 2000 and applied for naturalized citizenship in November 2003.

The citizenship agency turned him down in October 2007 and said he had made false and inconsistent statements about his service in the Bosnian army and the weapons he had carried. Hajro denied it and filed a Freedom of Information Act request for evidence of any such statements.

The agency provided some documents to Hajro in 2008 but recently acknowledged that it had no notes of any statements he had made about his military service, Steinberg said. A magistrate in San Francisco has scheduled a trial Nov. 2 on Hajro's request for citizenship.

Hajro also sued the immigration agency for failing to respond to his FOIA request within 20 days.

Grewal, the magistrate who heard that suit, said he would issue an injunction requiring the agency to comply with the 20-day timeline. One effect of such an order, Steinberg said, would be to encourage immigration courts to give immigrants more time to prepare their cases when the agency is slow to release documents.

Although the ruling applies only to the immigration agency, it should be "a wake-up call to other agencies" covered by the same law, Steinberg said.

The agency is reviewing the ruling and hasn't decided whether to appeal, spokesman Christopher Bentley said Tuesday. He said the agency is "committed to the president's goal of promoting 'open and transparent' government" and has increased its FOIA staff by 25 percent in the past year.

The useless reporter has an agenda. There are no questions to Hajro. No reports from stringers in Bosnia about his family and life there. It seems the reporter is curiously and singularly credulous. It is as if he was randomly chosen for bad treatment by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It was if an application for citizenship was delayed for no reason. There are no questions as to why there would be such delays when USCIS usually falls over itself to approve citizenship applications for the wide array of welfare recipients, illiterates, America-haters, and the non-English speaking.

So why is Hajro getting the special treatment? Obviously something came up on his back ground name check. It is not about what weapons he carried in the Bosnian army. It is obviously related to his connection to Islamist terrorists who were closely connected to the Bosnian armed forces and the war crimes they committed against Serbs and Croats. Most likely he was a member of one of any of a number of elite units of the Bosnian army, who worked closely with Al-Queda and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

So, undoubtedly we have here a possible terrorist and the only thing that is keeping him out is some nebulous information on a name check. And the FBI or other three letter agency does not want that released.

Clearly the solution is a polygraph. Why not? It will exonerate an innocent or will protect America from a dangerous alien. Why aren't all immigrants polygraphed? Too effective probably.

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