Connect with us

Politics

DOJ lost track of foreign nationals with criminal histories after bringing them to US: audit

Published

on

DOJ lost track of foreign nationals with criminal histories after bringing them to US: audit

The Justice Department has lost track of numerous foreign nationals who were brought into the United States to help with law enforcement cases and may have criminal histories of their own – something that could be putting the public “at risk,” the DOJ’s inspector general warned in a newly released audit.

The report released by the Office of the Inspector General identified 62 foreign nationals brought into the U.S. who have since “absconded” from Justice Department oversight. The audit called this “especially problematic” because “these individuals often have criminal histories or are involved with criminal organizations.”

“Therefore, there are risks associated with these individuals remaining in the United States unsupervised and the public can be at risk,” the report said.

HOUSE DEMS VOTE TO HOLD BARR, ROSS IN CONTEMPT, AS TRUMP ASSERTS EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE OVER CENSUS 

The report warned that others could be missing too: As of August 2018, the Department of Homeland Security was still seeking current information for 665 people identified as DOJ-sponsored foreign nationals as part of its own tracking.

In total, the department has sponsored thousands of foreign nationals under this program — 5,496 between 2015 and 2017, spanning the Obama and Trump administrations, the audit said. Agencies involved include the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Attorney’s Offices and the United States Marshals Service.

According to the audit, these foreign nationals – who may otherwise be considered inadmissible to the United States because of their criminal history – are brought to the U.S. to help support investigations and prosecutions.

In February 2018, the Department of Homeland Security identified more than 1,000 DOJ-sponsored foreign nationals for whom DHS did not have current information. As of August 2018, the audit said DHS was still seeking current information for 665 people. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

In February 2018, the Department of Homeland Security identified more than 1,000 DOJ-sponsored foreign nationals for whom DHS did not have current information. As of August 2018, the audit said DHS was still seeking current information for 665 people. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

“Significant risks accompany the sponsoring of foreign nationals to support law enforcement investigations because these individuals may be associated with criminal activity and motivated only by the ability to reside in the United States,” the report said.

But the report said the inspector general’s office does not “have assurance” that the DOJ and its law enforcement agencies have “adequately executed their monitoring responsibilities to mitigate the risks involved with sponsoring foreign nationals and to fulfill their obligation to protect the public.”

While the Justice Department and the other agencies have performed monitoring activities, problems have been identified in the process.

The report said some of the sponsored foreign nationals are not actually subject to “any routine monitoring requirements” because of “weaknesses in the monitoring policies at some DOJ components.”

And the report noted 18 instances where the Justice Department did not renew the sponsorship or termination of a foreign national in a timely matter, leading to those individuals falling into “an illegal status while residing in the United States.”

“We are concerned that the monitoring policies and practices currently executed by the DOJ components that sponsor foreign nationals do not adequately mitigate the risks associated with bringing individuals into the United States who may have criminal backgrounds or involvement in disreputable activities, or who may be associated with such individuals,” the report said.

A Justice Department spokeswoman did not immediately return a request for comment.

But in a response included in the audit, the Justice Department defended the use of the so-called S visa program, which allows long-term stays for foreign nationals in the United States when their presence could assist in combatting criminal and terrorism activities.

“The S visa program has played a crucial role in the successful prosecution or investigation of significant criminal or terrorist organization enterprises, and has enabled federal investigators and prosecutors to bring to justice dangerous criminals,” Jennifer A.H. Hodge, the acting deputy assistant attorney general, wrote in an April letter.

There have been risk concerns involving other federal government programs designed to expedite the admittance of foreign nationals into the United States. Then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in 2017 revamped a program that puts foreign-born recruits on a fast-track to U.S. citizenship in exchange for military service as doctors, nurses and language experts after Defense Department investigators discovered “potential security risks” with the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program.

Politics

U.S. president confirms no withdrawal from security pact: Japan

Published

on

By

Civil rights groups sue Tennessee over law imposing new penalties on voter registration

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s top government spokesman said on Tuesday the United States has confirmed its defense treaty with Japan after a report suggested U.S. President Donald Trump considered withdrawing from the pact.

Bloomberg reported on Monday that Trump has recently spoken privately about withdrawing from the treaty as he is of the view that the pact treated the United States unfairly.

“The thing reported in the media you mentioned does not exist,” Yoshihide Suga told reporters in Tokyo.

“We have received confirmation from the U.S. president it is incompatible with the U.S. government policy,” he added.

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; editing by Darren Schuettler

Continue Reading

Politics

Winning ugly? Media hit Trump style over Iran, but sometimes it works

Published

on

By

Winning ugly? Media hit Trump style over Iran, but sometimes it works

It’s a headline that captures the establishment’s disdain for the president’s unorthodox style of governing.

“Trump’s Erratic Policy Moves Put National Security at Risk, Experts Warn,” says The Washington Post.

Never mind that the first three critics quoted — after a defense from Mike Pence on CNN — were Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker.

The other “experts” were two professors who were mildly critical and a lawyer who was supportive of Trump.

But the piece does get at a central question about this president in the wake of the aborted airstrikes against Iran, which he called off with 10 minutes to spare.

Does Trump preside over a messy and sometimes chaotic process? Of course. But sometimes that style gets results.

On Iran, for instance, many liberals liked that he pulled back on bombing over the downing of an unmanned drone, even as they say he extinguished a fire that he had started. (Maureen Dowd: “As shocking as it is to write this sentence, it must be said: Donald Trump did something right.”)

TRUMP SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER DELIVERING ‘HARD-HITTING’ SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAN

In negotiations, the president often makes a dramatic demand or threat, sparking a media and diplomatic furor over whether this time he’s gone too far — then hammers out a compromise and claims victory. It’s the style of a blustery New York real estate developer who’s always one minute from walking away from the table, transferred to the staid, tradition-bound world of Washington.

Over the weekend, Trump called off a wave of ICE arrests that was to begin on Sunday, which he said would begin deportations of “millions” of illegal immigrants. That set off the predictable uproar.

Trump, after a reported call with Nancy Pelosi, said he was delaying the arrests for two weeks to allow time for negotiations with the Democrats. Nobody seems to think a deal can be struck in so short a period, but Trump won points with his base by threatening the mass arrests and again drove the news agenda.

SUBSCRIBE TO HOWIE’S MEDIA BUZZMETER PODCAST, A RIFF OF THE DAY’S HOTTEST STORIES

The Post’s take: “Three policy turnarounds by President Trump this month have underscored his freewheeling governing style, an approach that some experts warn sends mixed messages and puts U.S. national security at risk …

“The results of Trump’s strategy on policy have been mixed at best — and few issues offer as complete a picture of the president’s habitual brinkmanship as his effort to overhaul U.S. trade policy.”

Remember when Trump threatened to close the Mexican border? The Beltway went ballistic. He didn’t.

PELOSI SAYS ‘VIOLATION OF STATUS’ NOT A REASON TO DEPORT ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

Then he threatened to slap tariffs on all Mexican products, beginning at 5 percent, if the country didn’t crack down on migrants fleeing Central America for the U.S. border. Lo and behold, Trump got a last-minute agreement. It’s hard to judge how concrete these steps are, and The New York Times said most of them had been previously agreed to, but the perception — or perhaps the reality — is that he got Mexico to move.

Trump even used the tough-talk tactics against Canada before finally hammering out a trade deal. Whether the tariffs imposed on China ultimately lead to an agreement is another question.

The point is that while Trump’s approach horrifies the traditionalists, he rarely carries out the well-publicized threats.

I see a link between the zig-zagging negotiating style and the repeated failures of Trump’s vetting operation. Rather than wait for full-fledged inquiries and background checks, the president announces who he wants to nominate — and often has to pull back.

That was painfully on display when acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan had to withdraw over a violent family past that would have made clear he would be impossible to confirm. The same was true when the president had to drop his planned nominees to the Fed, Herman Cain and Steve Moore.

Axios obtained nearly 100 Trump transition vetting documents that clearly show the RNC and others were overwhelmed in trying to check on potential nominees. The documents show that ethical and management questions were raised about Scott Pruitt and Tom Price, who later had to resign their posts at EPA and HHS.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

As president, Trump has far more resources available to vet nominees, yet still rushes to name them before any real investigation.

This president isn’t going to win any awards for a tidy management process. But when it comes to military action and trade talks, he sometimes wins ugly.

Continue Reading

Politics

Emergency aid bill challenges Pelosi’s grip on Democrats

Published

on

By

Emergency aid bill challenges Pelosi’s grip on Democrats

A $4.5 million House bill aimed at providing more funding to migrant families detained at the U.S.-Mexico border is posing a challenge to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s grip on her party, as its liberal faction argue that the bill doesn’t go far enough while moderates worry that pushing for perfection will result in inaction at the border.

Calls for more funding at the border come amid reports that children detained entering the U.S. from Mexico are being held under harsh conditions. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told Fox News on Monday that the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border is dire. Azar said HHS shelters are at capacity and the budget is not there to increase it unless Congress acts.

Customs and Border Protection Chief Operating Officer John Sanders told The Associated Press that Border Patrol stations are holding 15,000 people – more than three times their maximum capacity.

A $4.5 trillion House bill aimed at alleviating circumstances like these is up for a vote Tuesday, but liberal Democrats are calling for provisions to strengthen protections for migrant children, and challenge the Trump administration’s border policies. Democrats met on Capitol Hill with Pelosi late Monday to try and reach a compromise. The meeting reportedly eased some Democratic complaints.

PELOSI TELLS NEW YORK CROWD ‘VIOLATION OF STATUS’ NOT A REASON TO DEPORT ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

Asked before the meeting about her concerns that Democrats’ push for perfection might result in inaction at the border, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., called it “a delicate situation.” Afterward, she appeared to have left the door open saying: “My main goal is to keep kids from dying,” before calling the humanitarian bill a “short-term” measure.”

But others weren’t swayed. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., said after the meeting: “We cannot continue to throw money at a dysfunctional system. We are not just asking for simple changes to be made into this bill, but to go back to the drawing board and really address this from a humanitarian issue.”

The White House accused lawmakers in a letter earlier Monday of trying to undermine its efforts at the border, arguing that the House package does provide enough money to toughen border security or funds for Trump’s proposed border wall.

GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Congress plans to leave Washington in a few days for a weeklong July 4 recess. While lawmakers don’t want to depart without acting on the legislation for fear of being accused of not responding to humanitarian problems at the border, it seems unlikely that Congress would have time to send a House-Senate compromise to Trump by week’s end.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Continue Reading

Categories

Recent Posts

Like Us On Facebook

Trending