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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Immigration and Naturalization Service's (INS) fingerprinting procedures for aliens applying for immigration and naturalization benefits, focusing on: (1) INS efforts to ensure that the fingerprints aliens submit are their own; (2) options INS considered to improve the fingerprinting process; (3) the future impact of automated fingerprinting identification systems; (4) INS efforts to ensure timely mailing of fingerprint cards to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and timely filing of FBI criminal history reports; and (5) INS actions to follow up on fingerprint cards rejected because of illegibility or incomplete information.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Justice 1. The Attorney General should direct the Commissioner, INS, to monitor progress to ensure that districts comply with INS headquarters directives to submit fingerprint cards to the FBI on a timely basis, file FBI arrest reports in aliens' files immediately, and submit new fingerprint cards to replace those that are rejected by the FBI.
Closed - Implemented
INS' Office of Internal Audit will start monitoring district office compliance.
Department of Justice 2. The Attorney General should direct the Commissioner, INS, to obtain the results from the FBI of all its record and fingerprint checks, including those aliens who do not have criminal history records, and make the results available to the examiners before the aliens' hearings.
Closed - Implemented
INS is ensuring that all of the results of fingerprint checks will be available to examiners.

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