Senator Chuck Grassley today said that a draft copy of a report he requested from the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General’s office confirmed the accounts he heard from whistleblowers about the undue pressure placed on Immigration Service Officers to approve immigration benefits.
Here is Grassley’s statement. A copy of Grassley’s request to the Inspector General, as well as letters to Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano can be found here.
“Whistleblowers have been complaining for several years that leadership in Washington, D.C. and immediate supervisors were placing inappropriate pressure on immigration adjudicators to simply find a way to approve benefits. This ‘Get to yes’ attitude doesn’t serve the American people who expect a thorough and complete analysis. When a quarter of the immigration service officers felt pressure to approve questionable applications, and 90 percent of respondents felt they didn’t have sufficient time to complete interviews of those who seek benefits, there are serious and widespread problems that need to be addressed by the department. This comes down to the safety and security of the American people, which should not be compromised by any means.
“The Inspector General took to heart the concerns he heard from Immigration Service Officers, and he made some serious and thoughtful recommendations. I’m particularly interested in the implementation of recommendations by the Inspector General to develop standards to permit more time for an adjudicator’s review of case files, develop a policy to establish limitations for managers and attorneys when they intervene in the adjudication of specific cases, and issue policy that ends any informal appeals process and the special review of denied cases. These get at the heart of the whistleblowers’ allegations, and would go a long way to changing the ‘Get to yes’ culture that prevails at the agency.”