On the California border, at least nine immigration officers have been arrested or sentenced on corruption-related charges in the past 12 months, reports the Associated Press. One of those convicted of smuggling in illegal immigrants turned out to be an illegal immigrant who had used a fake birth certificate to get hired by the Border Patrol. More than 600 criminal probes have been launched this fiscal year of immigration employees nationwide. Complaints range from smuggling, bribery, extortion, and fraud to sexual misconduct, assault, and theft of government property. Some of the accused manned border crossings, highway checkpoints, and airports. Others sat behind desks in places like Orange County, Ca., and Fairfax, Va., charged with taking bribes to provide naturalization papers or work permits to ineligible applicants.
“After the next attack, when they find out that an employee was bribed by a terrorist or bribed by a spy, it's going to be too late,” said Michael Maxwell, an ex-police chief and former internal affairs officer at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency that adjudicates visa, naturalization, and asylum applications. “In fact, I think it is too late.” He added: “Remember, one officer can grant citizenship at the time of his choosing at the place of his choosing to the person of his choosing – with impunity. So if he wants to give Osama bin Laden U.S. citizenship, he can.”