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Vice President, President's Deputy Chief of Staff Intended to Use Citizenship USA for Political Purposes

 September 7, 2000

WASHINGTON, D.C. Ė House Immigration and Claims Subcommittee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tx.) asserted today during oversight hearings that the evidence could "lead to the conclusion that the Vice President, The Presidentís Deputy Chief of Staff, and the Presidentís Director of Special Projects intended to use Citizenship USA (CUSA) for partisan political purposes".

CUSA is the program the Administration implemented that tripled the number of individuals granted citizenship immediately prior to the 1996 election.

Smith said, "Given the evidence and the lack of cooperation by these officials, the American people have every right to be suspicious of their motives and actions. In my opinion, the suspicion that there was an attempt to use a government agency for partisan political purposes is justified".

Following extraordinary efforts of the Vice President and the White House staff to pressure the Immigration and Naturalization service into speeding naturalizations, efforts documented by the Department of Justice Inspector General, the naturalization process completely broke down. The accounting firm of KPMG Peat Marwick found that more than 90 percent of all CUSA cases were adjudicated improperly, including 70 percent with defective or non-existent finger print checks. And more than 11,000 aliens had criminal records and the INS naturalized them despite their disqualifying records.

The Inspector Generalís report concluded "the evidence shows that INSí representations concerning CUSA processing, like the fingerprint checking procedures themselves, were wholly unreliable". According to the Inspector General, the CUSA program was "poorly managed," and the INS was "negligent" and "reckless" and guilty of "malfeasance."

Committee on the Judiciary, Chairman, Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims  * Chairman, Committee on Standards of Official Conduct   *  Committee on Science