Could U.S. Adequately Screen 11 Million Immigrants In Nation Illegally?


The 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally would have to pass national-security and criminal-background checks before receiving legal status under the reform bill being considered by the Senate, but some critics say the federal government would have a hard time adequately screening such a large number of people, reports the Arizona Republic. Federal immigration officials conducting the background checks also would have difficulty screening out potential terrorists because the checks are limited to information contained in government databases and terrorist- watch lists, critics say. “If you are not in an existing database as a problem or there is not something in your background that raises a red flag, you are going to breeze through,” said James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. “It's far from a panacea.” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the sweeping immigration-reform bill would improve national security by helping authorities know who is in the country.

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