The federal government’s system of tracking immigrants’ status is so broken that it gives a green light to one in eight aliens who have been ordered deported, according to an audit Tuesday that found the government has gone on to approve some of those who slip through for work in sensitive areas of airports and granted them benefits such as Medicaid or food stamps.
Some of those aliens who should have been kicked out had serious criminal records, including for assault and extortion, according to the audit by the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general.
All told, some 800,000 immigrants are living in the U.S. who already have been ordered deported but have not yet left — or been removed by the government — from the country.
The Homeland Security Department is supposed to maintain an up-to-date list of those deportable aliens so that other government agencies are aware of their status and know they should be denied benefits. The system is known as the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements program, or SAVE.
But a random sample of queries to the system found that 12 percent of the time, the system OKs an immigrant who should have been deported.