An email chain acquired by the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and shown to Fox News reveals immigration officials urging employees to work overtime to naturalize as many immigrants as possible in advance of the presidential election.
The email, from a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field office chief and part of a chain of correspondence within the agency, urges the unnamed recipient to swear in as many citizens as possible “due to the election year.”“The Field Office due to the election year needs to process as many of their N-400 cases as possible between now and FY 2016,” reads the email, which was disclosed to FoxNews.com by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who chairs the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.“If you have cases in this category or other pending, you are encouraged to take advantage of the OT if you can,” the email continues. “This will be an opportunity to move your pending naturalization cases. If you have not volunteered for OT, please consider and let me know if you are interested.”Parts of the email were redacted before it was disclosed to FoxNews.com, but it was sent by the branch chief of the Houston Field Office District 17. It was not clear to whom it was addressed.“I couldn’t have said it better!” reads the July 21 note introducing the forwarded missive. “It’s the end of the year crunch time, so let’s get crunchy! Go Team Houston! Thanks for all your hard work!”Johnson and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, in a Wednesday letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, said it appears the agency is trying to swear in new citizens as the election between Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton and GOP choice Donald Trump approaches.“Your department seems intent on approving as many naturalization cases as quickly as possible at a time when it should instead be putting on the brakes and reviewing past adjudications,” the senator’s letter read.Johnson referred to a report this week from the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General that found at least 858 people from terror hotspots and other countries of concern had been mistakenly granted citizenship despite facing orders of deportation under other identities.
This is an order direct from the top. For months, the administration has been urging legal immigrants to become citizens so they can vote against Donald Trump in November. Immigration officials have been tasked to make that a reality.
On the surface, these exhortations would appear to violate the Hatch Act - the law that prevents executive department employees from engaging in political activity. You could easily define the activity of immigration officials as a quaisi "Get Out The Vote" strategy to help Hillary Clinton get elected.
But as long as there is no overt coordination with the Clinton campaign, it would be tough to prove. Nevertheless, the emphasis on working overtime to get new citizens to vote in the presidential election - especially after the screwups that we learned of last week - is misplaced and could be dangerous. But as we've seen with refugees coming to the US, vetting the newcomers is not as important as getting them on our soil. A rational, reasonable immigration policy is beyond this administration's ability to formulate.
Unfortunately, it is the American people who will have to live with the consequencefs.