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New Citizens Found To Have Felony Records

Tue., Feb. 25, 1997

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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