It was a lot easier when the illegals dressed like illegals in Border Patrol publicity pics

As if the Trump administration’s war on immigrants weren’t already busy enough scooping up suspected undocumented immigrants in courthouses, outside schools, and at hospitals, we now learn the Department of Homeland Security has been working on a new frontier in ejecting people from the USA: DHS has a program aimed at tracking down a fairly small number of people who had been ordered to be deported, but because of incomplete digital fingerprint records, were nonetheless granted citizenship. The Justice Department issued a press release Tuesday announcing that a New Jersey district court judge had ordered that one such immigrant had been stripped of his naturalized citizenship, and is now subject to deportation, all part of a joint DHS/DOJ program called “Operation Janus,” after the two-faced Roman god Harvey Dent.

The program actually had its origins during the Obama administration, after a 2016 DHS report found that US Citizenship and Immigration Services had granted naturalized citizenship to “at least 858 individuals ordered deported or removed under another identity” who had slipped through the cracks because the FBI and DHS didn’t find digital fingerprint records for them. They’d been fingerprinted during deportation procedures, but not all those old records were converted to digital form by the time the people had applied for citizenship, usually under different names than those on the deportation orders.

AP coverage of the story in September 2016 led to a stupid internet rumor that citizenship had mistakenly been granted to over 800 people who had been ordered deported for “national security concerns,” but in reality, the report didn’t detail why the deportation orders had been issued. DHS and FBI didn’t fully convert to a digitized fingerprint database until 2010.

The one case that DOJ is trumpeting as a win for Operation Janice (we think that sounds friendlier) certainly doesn’t sound like it involves any national security issues: A dude from India arrived at San Francisco International Airport in 1991 without any identification or a passport, and gave his name as “Davinder Singh.” The government started the process to send him back, but he skipped his hearing in immigration court and a deportation order was issued for him in January 1992. A month later, the same dude applied for political asylum, this time using the name “Baljinder Singh,” again without any documentation; before that asylum case was adjudicated, though, he married a US citizen, and she helped him get a green card. He became a naturalized citizen in 2006, and his deportation order was only found in a 2014-2015 audit of DHS records that led to the 2016 report. If all the fingerprint data had been digitized, his 1992 deportation would have been found, and that would have been grounds for denying him citizenship, so a judge stripped him of his citizenship, and now, presumably, he’s on track to be deported.

So, there’s one potential dangerous terrorist gone, except that beyond his blowing off the immigration hearing in 1992, the DOJ doesn’t identify any other criminal activity Singh may have engaged in. Yes, yes, he was definitely here illegally and shouldn’t have been approved for citizenship, but is this really a good use of law enforcement resources? The 2016 report doesn’t indicate whether the problematic citizens were supposed to be deported for having committed crimes, or whether they had committed civil violations of immigration law like overstaying a visa. The report sure tries to make it sound like there’s a threat:

So that’s four whole cases: one person in law enforcement, and three people with transportation-related jobs. Were any of them dangerous? Who knows? Could be they’d just fucked up their paperwork, or maybe they were all terrorist operatives (if they had been, though, we’ll assume the government would have made a lot more noise about catching them). The 2016 report adds that relatively few of its cases as of March 2015 had turned up criminal suspects, let alone convictions: The US attorney’s office had only accepted two cases for prosecution, and ICE also “transferred two additional cases with fingerprint records linked to terrorism to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force” — but there’s no indication of what those “links” may have been or whether they resulted in prosecution.

Crom knows DHS tries to play up the dimensions of the potential problem; Tuesday’s press release says Operation Janus

identified about 315,000 cases where some fingerprint data was missing from the centralized digital fingerprint repository. Among those cases, some may have sought to circumvent criminal record and other background checks in the naturalization process.

Of those 315,000 cases where fingerprint cases were missing, it seems reasonable that, if the 2014-2015 audit identified only 858 cases where a naturalized citizen had an old deportation order of any kind, there aren’t exactly over a quarter million criminal aliens running around with green cards or citizenship — we’d assume most were deported even though their fingerprint files weren’t later updated. That number has grown somewhat; yesterday’s press release says

USCIS dedicated a team to review these Operation Janus cases, and the agency has stated its intention to refer approximately an additional 1,600 for prosecution.

Seems to us that DOJ and DHS are really pushing hard to conflate the number of missing fingerprint records with the comparatively tiny number of people who may have been improperly naturalized. So hurrah for this huge effort to comb through old cases for the sake of stripping citizenship from possibly 2,500 people who may or may not have committed fraud — or just blundered through an insanely complex immigration system in which even the government can’t keep its records straight — for the sake of looking tough on illegal immigrants. We feel so much safer.

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please click here to help us buy the coffee we need to get through government reports.

[ReWire / AP via Snopes / DOJ press release / 2016 Homeland Security report]

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  • Skwerl the Taco Hunter

    Once we clean up all the peaceful non-threats that slipped through the cracks on technicalities, we’ll begin looking for the dangerous criminals.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Start in the White House and Trump Tower.

      • Bigly smart jesterpunk

        Is this just Trump’s way to get rid of Melodrama without having to pay her anything?

        • alpacapunchbowl

          He’s not smart enough to come up with that on his own, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he made use of it.

    • Rooster Cogburn105

      Those guys have an annoying tendency to fight back.

  • Bright Bart
  • msanthropesmr

    Just deport everyone and start the fuck over.

  • Victoria Ricola

    I think everyone’s healthcare should cover Operation Janus without copay!!!
    Wait. What?

  • OrdinaryJoe

    Operation Justuswhites.

  • wait! what?

    If all the records haven’t been digitized; is there a plan to address the remaining “analog” records, or is the process finished and everything that hasn’t been digitized been thrown out?

  • Timothy Watson

    So, let me get this straight, ICE has the personnel to track these people down but can’t be bothered to get an actual arrest warrant, instead of issuing a “detainer”, for someone being held in jail?

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Priorities, dude.

  • Villago Delenda Est

    “Stupid internet rumor”? How can there even be such a thing!

    • Oblios_Cap

      If it’s on the internet, it must be true. All of us stable geniuses know that.

  • Oblios_Cap

    Why don’t they include all of the military vets whose records were destroyed in the 1973 fire outside St. Louis? It’s possible some of them might be illegals, too.

  • So this is a little terrifying. My wife is a naturalized citizen, brought here and adopted in 1962. I don’t need to worry, right? RIGHT?

    • Illuminotquite

      Can’t say. Looks like it depends on the paperwork, and the competence of those filling it out. Interesting that the report says naturalized citizens have “MANY OF the rights and privileges of U.S. citizens”

      • OneYieldRegular

        That report was clearly prepared by a Trump University graduate.

    • clairence

      I wonder if they’ll undo the Child Citizenship Act.

    • Cucker “Dick” Tarlson

      Is she white?

      If so, don’t worry about it…

  • wait! what?
  • OrdinaryJoe

    Call Kobach!!! I’ll bet they ALL four voted for Hillary.

  • TheGrandWazoo2

    I can think of a large number of Republicans that need to be fingerprinted, but not for citizenship purposes.

  • Oblios_Cap

    identified about 315,000 cases where some fingerprint data was missing from the centralized digital fingerprint repository. Among those cases, some may have sought to circumvent criminal record and other background checks in the naturalization process.

    ..And some, I’m sure, were nice people.

  • Bigly smart jesterpunk

    So does that mean they will deport Rafael Cruz and send him back to Canada? He is using a different name now and causing a lot of problems in this country.

    • OrdinaryJoe

      May be using his porn name: Raygun Crews.

    • coozledad

      Too bad we can’t retroactively denaturalize the Scots-Irish trash that started the Civil War.

      • Bigly smart jesterpunk

        Can we also retroactively remove citizenship from people who fled Germany to escape military service?

  • Indiepalin

    See Bob Dylan’s “Talking John Birch Society Blues” – I even looked down the toilet bowl…they got away

  • GoutMachine

    They’ve also today raided 98 7-Eleven stores in 17 states and the District:

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents showed up at dozens of 7-Eleven stores before dawn Wednesday to interview employees and deliver audit notifications, carrying out what the agency said was the largest operation targeting an employer since President Trump took office.

    ICE said its agents targeted 98 stores and made 21 arrests, describing the operation as a warning to other companies who may have unauthorized workers on their payroll.

    • Oblios_Cap

      No Icees? At least they did it in winter, then.

      • OneYieldRegular

        Icees, not ICEs!

        • vivian

          Aye Sis, Icees, ICEs, ISIS, they’re all the same…

      • Arolpin

        It’s Slurpees at 7-11, Icees are at K-Mart.

        • Oblios_Cap

          After 5 years Knedlik’s idea had become the iconic Icee Machine after drawing the attention of 7-Eleven. The convenience store chain purchased several machines and later changed the name to Slurpee based on the slurping sound people make when drinking the beverage.[The Icee Company has over 75,000 Icee machines across America serving over 300 million Icee per year. McDonald’s and Subway restaurants inside Wal-Mart stores sell Icees. Burger King in the US and Canada sell Icees and Icee Floats. Target and Wawa also sell Icees inside their stores. In Mexico, Icee is widely available at department stores such as Sears and Wal-Mart, and inside movie theaters and convenience stores. Icee is also the primary frozen beverage sold in Wawa and Quick Chek, two convenience store chains in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US. Valero gas stations co-branded with their CornerStore marts (except for those independently owned) sell the Icee. Icee is also served at most Rainforest Café locations nationwide.

    • Skwerl the Taco Hunter

      98 to capture 21.
      Sounds like an effect use of our tax money.

      (Especially when they discover 22 of them were citizens.)

      • doktorzoom

        That’s a hell of a big gulp.

    • Bigly smart jesterpunk

      So they dont have money for the Nazi rehabilitation program but they can waste money on things like this?

    • Ruhe

      Hopefully Sarah H. Sanders will begin today’s presser with the words “suck it, Tucker.”

    • clairence

      Our grocery bills are about to go through the roof!

  • Scooby

    How did he get past the wall with India in the first place?

    • Bigly smart jesterpunk

      That is why they need to build a wall on the Mexican border.

      • Skwerl the Taco Hunter

        And make the Indians pay for it.

  • TundraGrifter

    Apparently this continued during World War II:

    America’s Forgotten History Of Mexican-American ‘Repatriation’

    With a scarcity of jobs during the Depression, more than a million people of Mexican descent were sent to Mexico. Author Francisco Balderrama estimates that 60 percent were American citizens.

  • OneYieldRegular

    In sunnier news, my spouse just became a naturalized citizen with all the rights and responsibilities to vote and raise hell, which she fully intends to do.

    • TakingAmes

      Congratulations! I love it when naturalized citizens raise hell!

  • coozledad

    Who will you throttle when you go to vote and you find out your citizenship has been revoked? Or when they tell you you have to renew your citizenship for a $2000.00 fee, payable to the Republican Party?

    Because it’s a throttling thing. It really is.

    • Bigly smart jesterpunk
      • Bobathonic

        What a liar. It was to protect the government, since it had no standing army. I bet he isn’t even aware of the Militia Acts (which directed certain purchases by citizens, shades of PPACA).

        • coozledad

          It was one the South’s conditions for ratification. It’s about fugitive slave hunting more than anything. Ultimately it gave Southern legislatures the power to override the laws of free states.

          We’re headed to that degree of legal travesty again.

          • Bobathonic

            I think our major point here is that Ryan is lying, because the 2nd Amendment was never about violence being used against our government by our citizens.

      • coozledad

        Didn’t keep his neighbor from cracking his fucking chicken-ass chest open, though. Must not have had time to unlock his gun safe.

        • Bigly smart jesterpunk

          His neighbor was a pain doctor.

      • gnomemansanisland

        It was because the southern states were afraid if it wasn’t made explicit in the bill of rights the federal government would take over the role of the state militias – which were there to keep slaves from rebelling, or suppressing them if they occurred.

        • Cucker “Dick” Tarlson

          So basically, many of our lingering national crises originated with and continue to be perpetuated by some backwater white trash. I can get with that.

      • Ruhe

        When it “becomes tyrannical”? Rand Paul: LINO.

      • TJ Barke

        Like the Trump administration?

    • marxalot

      Throttling? Thinking too small, Comrade. That’s a “who goes on this tumbrel” question.

    • doktorzoom

      Don’t be silly — you’ll be deported well before you try to vote.

  • Bigly smart jesterpunk

    Anyone know when Melodrama is scheduled to give her press conference to clear up her immigration status?

    • elviouslyqueer

      Lock Her Up! Send Her Back!

    • Bad Tom

      Yes: Never.

  • ariel_gee_398

    As part of the deportation process, all these citizens will be compelled to sign an affidavit swearing that they voted for Hillary approximately 3500 times each.

  • I’m of the mind that if the government done fucked up, it’s on them, not on you. Provided you’re not actually a national security threat or a violent felon.

    • Bigly smart jesterpunk

      Isnt that the logic they use with guns? The government has 72 hours to approve or deny a gun sale and if they dont you get the gun.

  • Red Bird

    Makes me think of a Trumpkin associate who said people who aren’t white have nothing to fear if they are citizens. It wouldn’t take much effort to suddenly “lose” the records of naturalized citizens and make them reapply for citizenship.

  • Bitter Scribe

    Hey, what the hell–maybe they’ll have more success with this than they did with finding cases of in-person voter fraud. (God knows they couldn’t have less.)

  • Ruhe

    Pssst…now’s the time to cross the border…they’re not looking.

  • Toomush_Inferesistance

    Mr. Trump, tear down that wall…

  • Squeegee

    I was thinking that with Trump in office we’d need the wall to keep people from fleeing the country like in the Republic of Gilead or 1984 instead of keeping them out

  • Mnz3

    This is outrageous!!!! Doesn’t the Trump administration know that lying to government officials is only illegal when Republicans do it?!?

  • Relativicus

    Apparently, ICE raided a bunch of 7-Elevens today. I’ve seen no confirmation that the order went out after Trump watched a Simpsons marathon on FX yesterday evening. But I’ve seen no denials, either.

  • Rebel Scum with permit

    That One Weird Trick to rid the country of more (probably) brown people.

    • clairence


  • marxalot

    This sounds like an extremely fiscally responsible allocation of funds and time.

    • Mentally Stable Ron

      WHAT funds?

  • La forza del resistino

    time to transfer staff from the bloated HHS, EPA and State depts (maybe some Park rangers too) to help DHS get a handle on this.

    • TakingAmes

      Srsly. I said at the beginning of this hellhole timeline (that started approximately 800,000 years ago) that I would take DHS absorbing State, HHS, EPA, etc., as a final sign that it is time to get the fuck out.

  • clairence

    so, to paraphrase, they’re going after the worst of the worst (?)

  • TJ Barke

    Fuck these nazi assholes.

  • Bub, the like, cynical zombie

    Going to do some shopping. My shopping list:

    1) Booze
    2) More booze
    3) Cedar cheese
    4) Those cakes we like
    5) Still more booze

    • eyelashviper

      popcorn, don’t forget the popcorn, for the fiber.

      • Canned Covfefe

        Um, I thought it’s for the butter?

        • Mentally Stable Ron

          Yes. Popcorn was created to be a butter delivery system.

    • vivian

      Hmmm. May wanna add some hooch to that list, and
      fer godssakes don’t forget to get some booze.

    • JustDon’tSayLikeSmart

      Needz moar clams…

  • they might as well just call it GeStaPo and be done with it.

  • Portia McGonagal

    Well they have to make room for these women:

    A growing number of Russians are coming to the U.S. to give birth. These kids will have the right to live and work here, receive social services and, when they turn 21, will have the right to sponsor their parents for an American Green Card. Read more:— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 10, 2018

    • eyelashviper

      And they live at Trump properties…interesting, who could imagine?

  • eyelashviper
    • rg9rts


      • eyelashviper

        Waves, Happy New Year!

        • rg9rts

          ~~~(^.,.^) same to you….must be a couple years

          • eyelashviper

            Where have you been? I am at RS or wonkette generally…

          • rg9rts

            RS kicked me out…Atlantic …here and The Hill to whoop trumpkins….was ill …hospitalized with congestive heart failure for 5 months…did a major recovery since then… 1200 miles on the bike(pedal) and am almost at full recovery or at least as much as can be hoped for .for an old fart….MONSTA keeps me on the straight and narrow… survived the bitter blast and am impatiently waiting for spring…thank god for the VA… they were outstanding

          • eyelashviper

            So glad you are OK, it sounds like a grueling and frightening experience. My husband goes to the local VA, and they have always been great. All that good socialist medicine that we all could use!
            Will look for you at wonkette, it is a great site.

          • rg9rts

            Come to Atlantic…and to get away from the morons and a bit serious go to PRO PUBLICA…excellent site that does real journalism…..discus too

          • eyelashviper

            I like Pro Publica, and have generally been avoiding moron /troll sites.
            Reality is bad enough.
            Hope to see you around more often.

          • rg9rts

            you will

          • rg9rts

            Atlantic has a 50 year photo retrospective …well worth the visit… much promise …so much lost

    • Somebody just told me about this.

      This is horrifying.

      • WIDTAP

        Governance and law enforcement by stereotype memes.

  • rg9rts

    just another case of figures don’t lie but liars can figure

  • Jado

    Um, if we actually deport a bunch of undocumented workers, the 1% will have no one to pick their heirloom organic tomatoes, and they will FREAK. So we do this BS, and it placates the loons while doing nothing to address the actual issue of immigration

    WIN-WIN for the GOP!!!!

  • Mentally Stable Ron

    Of course, if they were actually terrorists, their paperwork would be immaculate so as to avoid this sort of issue.

    • Jon Sussex

      It’s beyond conception that it wouldn’t be.

    • William

      Which is why the patriot act requires all drivers of fuel tankers and other Hazmat vehicles to get fingerprinted and background checked at each license renewal. Everyone knows that terrorists always get fingerprinted and submit to a background check before they steal a gas truck and drive it into a business.

  • Mentally Stable Ron

    … a joint DHS/DOJ program called “Operation Janus,” after the two-faced Roman god Harvey Dent.

    I’d take my chances with Two-Face. At least you’d have a 50% chance of being set free.

  • Just Noh

    i want that “illegal” shirt in the photo!

    • rg9rts

      You’ll have to settle for left over Cruz’s right hand man shirts

  • Swampgas_Man

    Uh, Doc, beyond the usual ICE thuggery, I don’t really see the problem here. Yes, these are probably “good people”, but they were actually due to be deported, and they’re being deported. This isn’t the hill I want to live and die on, immigration-wise.

    • It’s another example of how mean and vindictive the current administration is, that’s all.

      • Mnz3

        Exactly. It isn’t like anyone associated with Trump has been punished for lying for government officials.

  • Dept. of Space Tacos

    i seem to recall from last semester – there’s (thankfully) only two ways you can lose your citizenship: give it up voluntarily – or what you see above (“fraud” in the citizenship process).

    That class was so interesting, because of the insane hate these people have for immigrants.

    • Mnz3

      Yes. Lying to the government is no big deal. Just ask Mueller.

  • Rooster Cogburn105

    Sorry, if they got their USC through fraud, it’s a dealbreaker. You have no “right” to something you gained by fraudulent means, see #45 as POTUS, e.g.

  • Ilgattomorte

    I feel safe now, knowing that Donald Trump is protecting me from illegal aliens who will kill and rape me (in a bad way). It’s just like I feel safe because the application of a butt plug keeps tiny outer space aliens from entering my anus to probe me.

    Hey! I’m a forgotten mid western voter and you need to respect me.

    • Hesavebread!

      Ach, you get used to the probing.

  • Zyxomma

    Hmmm. When I lived in TX (mid-1970s), an Iranian man wanted me to marry him so he could pay less to attend the University of Houston. Then he wanted to go home to Iran to marry his cousin. I said no.

    • anomie

      At least he was up front about it.

      Good call on your part, though.

  • Invisible Bunyip

    …Yet, having been naturalized, they have many of the rights and privileges of U.S. citizens…

    Shouldn’t naturalization give you all the rights of a citizen?

    • Way2GoSassy

      It does after 10 years.

      • Invisible Bunyip

        ah, thank you.

  • Molon Labe

    The recommendation to de-naturalize these people predates the Trump presidency. Trump’s DHS pulled the trigger but Obama’s DHS hatched the plan.

    “Recommendation 2. We recommend that the Directors of USCIS, ICE, and
    OPS establish a plan for evaluating the eligibility of each naturalized citizen
    whose fingerprint records reveal deportation orders under a different
    identity. The plan should include a review of the facts of each case and, if the
    individual is determined to be ineligible, a recommendation whether to seek
    denaturalization through criminal or civil proceedings. The plan should also
    require documentation and tracking of the decisions made and actions taken
    on these cases until each has been resolved.”

  • UnsaltedSinner

    Working towards the orange turd.

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