Assessment of Contractor's Review of INS' Analysis of a Random Sample of Recently Naturalized Aliens

GGD-98-131R: Published: May 28, 1998. Publicly Released: May 28, 1998.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed KPMG Peat Marwick LLP's approach to overseeing and monitoring the Immigration and Naturalization Service's (INS) review of the improper naturalization of aliens.

GAO noted that: (1) INS officials reviewed 5,438 randomly selected case files from the 1,049,867 naturalization cases approved between August 31, 1995, and September 30, 1996; (2) according to KPMG, the purposes of the randomly selected case file review were to: (a) evaluate to what degree INS adjudicators correctly processed and documented their initial naturalization decisions; and (b) determine if any of the case files contained documentation that provided a prima facie basis for disqualifying an alien's naturalization; (3) INS' review focused on the documentation concerning the naturalization requirements--good moral character, knowledge of English and civics, eligibility period, and residency; (4) in addition, INS looked for administrative errors in the processing of the case files; (5) INS' review identified that 4,939 of the 5,438 case files contained at least one documentation error; (6) in addition, INS determined whether any of the case files contained documentation that provided a basis to disqualify an alien's naturalization; (7) it classified the case files as proper, insufficient documentation, or presumptively ineligible; (8) using the results for INS' case file review, KPMG projected that of the 1,049,867 aliens naturalized between August 31, 1995, and September 30, 1996, 920,733 case files had insufficient documentation, 90,289 case file decisions were proper, and 38,845 aliens were presumptively ineligible to be naturalized; and (9) in carrying out its monitoring responsibilities, KPMG used generally accepted social science standards.

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