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New Citizens Found To Have Felony Records

The government failed to do full background checks on as many as 180,000 of the 1 million immigrants granted citizenship last year, and nearly 11,000 of those naturalized had felony arrest records, officials confirmed Monday.

Officials of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the parent Justice Department said they have yet to determine how many of the immigrants, if any, should have been denied citizenship.

Republicans pointed to the findings as evidence the Clinton administration’s Citizenship USA program was rushing to produce new citizens who were expected to vote Democratic in 1996.

INS officials have said the program was not politically motivated.

They said Citizenship USA was created to end a two-year backlog.


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Sen. Maria Cantwell says governments should not be on the hook for coal mine cleanups

UPDATED: 12:25 p.m.

updated  WASHINGTON – Congress should end a practice that puts the federal government and states at risk of paying for expensive coal mine cleanups when mining companies go bankrupt, according to a new finding by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. The GAO, an investigative arm of Congress, is recommending that lawmakers eliminate the ability of coal mine owners to self-certify their financial wealth, known as “self-bonding.” The controversial process lets owners avoid putting up collateral or getting third-party surety bonds – a requirement of companies in every other energy sector.