USCIS Union Charges that Workers are Pressured to Approve Immigration Benefits

If it were not so deadly serious – and I mean deadly in the most literal sense of the word – we might all have a good laugh at the farce playing out in Washington. No, not the budget impasse, or the game of chicken over the debt ceiling. That other farce: the immigration reform debate. Specifically the part about how granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens will make us all safer because we’ll be bringing them out of the shadows, putting them through background checks and weeding out the terrorists, criminals and gang-bangers.

According to Kenneth Palinkas, the president of the union representing employees of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency (USCIS) – the folks who would allegedly be doing the weeding – we’re not even making a serious effort to keep out the bad guys now. Palinkas charges that USCIS employees are required by the agency “to grant immigration benefits to those who, under law, are not properly eligible.” Further, says Palinkas, USCIS workers are rubber-stamping approvals of applications for immigration benefits under orders from superiors to clear applications as quickly as possible.

In addition to the pressure from above, Palinkas claims that officers lack the ability to conduct in-person interviews with applicants for immigration benefits, and that they do not even have the computer software necessary to prevent dangerous people from gaining legal residency and citizenship.

This is the same agency, with the same political agenda, that would be tasked with – in the words of Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. – “identifying and conducting background checks on people here illegally” so that we can grant 11 million, or more of them, amnesty and “make America more secure.”

It’s hard to know whether we should laugh or cry.


About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar

    The Navy yard shooter had a high security clearance and yet there were clear warning flags that should have disqualified him from having access. They can’t even get that right, and we’re supposed to believe that anyone is going to an adequate job of untangling the various identities and false ID that many millions of these illegals used? It’s simply not going to happen. The main reason being the substantial cost of even trying to properly vet one person.

    It’s like the Boston bombers. Let’s not forget they had people helping them cover up afterward. But we have these so called “refugee” programs that become an end unto themselves. We set a number who are supposed to come every year, and come hell or high water, they are going to produce that number. Whether these people are an asset, or possible threat, to this country or not.