Once again, an Inspector General has come to the rescue identifying incompetence (the charitable interpretation) in the federal bureaucracy. Elizabeth Harrington of The Free Beacon reports on the stunning level of error in the screening of illegal immigrants released from custody by ICE agents toward the end of Obama’s presidency:
The office of inspector general found that between 2013 and 2015, ICE was not screening illegal immigrants who had been released for terrorist ties. Every single case of a suspected terrorist reviewed by the inspector general included errors, where ICE officials were not in compliance with security standards.
"ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) faces challenges in implementing the Known or Suspected Terrorist Encounter Protocol (KSTEP) screening process, which is used to identify aliens who may be known or suspected terrorists," the inspector general said. "Although ERO uses KSTEP to screen all aliens who are in ICE custody, ERO policy does not require continued screening of the approximately 2.37 million aliens when released and under ICE supervision."
The problem, even by ICE's own admission, is systemic:
ICE blamed these deficiencies on "limited program oversight and weak management controls."
And the problem continues:
ICE warned that the problem is continuing into the Trump administration, noting [that] the agency has identified "at least 19 more cases since January 2016 when field personnel did not transmit the required incident reports to ICE headquarters."
The inspector general identified at least nine field offices and smaller offices that as recently as July 2017 did not "have the infrastructure necessary to communicate derogatory information about known or suspected terrorists."
"The lack of real-time information sharing capabilities jeopardizes ICE's ability to make decisions on known or suspected terrorists," the inspector general said.
Alas, ICE, part of the Department of Homeland Security, does not have a confirmed new director, and operates under the leadership of a temporary acting director, installed by President Trump shortly after taking office. The acting head, Thomas Homan, "an ICE agent famous for his deportation record," may have the ability to correct the systemic deficiencies, for all I know. If so, he ought to be confirmed by the Senate quickly. If not, a reformist head ought to be named and confirmed rapidly, to plug this obvious serious hole in the nation's protective shield. But we all know that Chuck Schumer and the Democrats do not want to see President Trump succeed, so the rate of Senate confirmations is at a snail's pace.