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OIG: USCIS Has Implemented Recommendations to Improve Green Card Issuance

The DHS Inspector General has conducted a verification review on USCIS’ corrective actions to address seven recommendations in a previous report about inappropriately issued green cards, and found that the agency has addressed all actions.

In a 2016 report, the OIG found that USCIS produced at least 19,000 green cards that included incorrect information or were issued in duplicate between July 2013 and May 2016. Most card issuance errors during this period were due to design and functionality problems in the Electronic Immigration System (ELIS), a new system intended to automate benefits processing for certain USCIS products and services, including green cards.

Although the agency tried to recover the inappropriately issued cards, its efforts were not always successful. The OIG also found USCIS received more than 200,000 inquiries from approved applicants about missing cards. The number of cards sent to wrong addresses had steadily increased since 2013, due in part to the complex process for updating addresses and ELIS limitations. Responding to card issuance errors resulted in extra cost and workload; USCIS spent just under $1.5 million to address card-related customer inquiries in fiscal year 2015 alone.

OIG made seven recommendations for USCIS to improve green card issuance and reduce errors, and it determined that USCIS’ corrective actions were adequate, effective, and timely. As a result, all seven recommendations have been closed.

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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