Part One: A Storm’s Ablowin’?
On February 23 2006 Senator Charles Grassley wrote to Emilio T. Gonzalez, the Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) concerning Mike Maxwell the former Director of OSI at USCIS.
Senator Grassley expressed his concern that Mr Maxwell’s rights as a whistleblower to Congress were being violated by officials within USCIS and DHS.
“In light of Maxwell’s attempts to report serious and systematic problems within USCIS and to Congress, his resignation also raises questions for USCIS about whistleblower protection issues.”
However, Senator Grassley’s letter also identified other government employees, USCIS benefit adjudicators, who were coming forward to him and Congress with revelations and evidence just as disturbing and unsettling as that which the Senator attributed to Mr Maxwell, in fact, Grassley and his staff knew and understood, that many of the adjudicators’ reports were the original eyewitness accounts to the fraud and corruption in USCIS which Mr Maxwell subsequently reported to Congress and the press.
How? It was Senator Grassley’s staffer, Mr. Jason Foster, which connected Mr. Maxwell to the “multiple benefit adjudicators” from USCIS which Senator Grassley identifies in the following excerpt from the letter to USCIS Director Gonzalez:
“My office has been contacted by multiple benefit adjudicators to report their own management’s lack of concern for security and nearly exclusive focus on processing as many benefit applications as possible.
Alien Security Checks
According to information provided to my staff, criminals and potential terrorists
may be able to obtain immigration benefits or be permitted to remain in the United States illegally through a variety of questionable policy decisions by USCIS leadership. For example:
(1) USCIS allows adjudicators to processes benefit applications without complete
FBI or CIA fingerprint checks on the assumption that the results are negative if
there has been no response within 40 days;
(2) alien benefit applicants may obtain waivers of the fingerprint check requirement
if they “are unable to provide fingerprints,” because of, among other things,
(3) as of late September 2005, USCIS adjudicators handling applications for
refugee/asylee travel documents were not required to compare the photograph
of the applicant for the travel documents with the original photograph of the
refugee or asylee, allowing illegal aliens to easily establish a false identity by
obtaining such travel documents in the name of another;
(4) according to an ICE intelligence report, USCIS has been “systematically”
issuing multiple permanent resident alien cards to individuals with the same
alien registration number, even though USCIS systems recorded the photos,
fingerprints, and signatures so that it should have been obvious that the all the
applicants were not the same individual;
(5) service centers were instructed not to serve a Notice to Appear (“NTA”) on
criminal aliens subject to mandatory detention because of an unwillingness or
inability to pay ICE to serve them; and
(6) a search for a missing A-File that was being sought by a Joint Terrorism Task
Force (“JTTF”) at one USCIS office recently resulted in the discovery of a stash
of some 2,500 A-Files of aliens whose applications for benefits had been
denied, but whose cases had not been turned over to ICE because USCIS
personnel at that office decided to hide the files rather than pay ICE to serve the
So what ever happened to these additional whistleblowers which Senator Grassley refers? Why did they not get the same consideration and respect that Michael Maxwell got from the self-proclaimed Champion of Whistleblowers Senator Charles Grassley, other Congressmen and the press?
Why was their focus on defending the integrity of the Federal workforce and workflow delegated to a minor concern, while Maxwell and others focused on the criminals that were possibly getting into the country rather than the corrupt bureaucrats who were knowingly letting them in?
Why were their reports about USCIS one day a cause célèbre , a major factor in the defeat of the 2006-7 Immigration Reform Bill and the next day something Congressmen and journalists rushed to bury and run from as if they were whistling pass a graveyard?
And what exactly was the Rogue IT program which Maxwell revealed and testified about to Congress?
And why did the information about the Rogue IT program which Maxwell provide to Congress suddenly disappear from the Judiciary Committee’s website?