The FBI’s system of background checks has forced many legal immigrants to wait years before getting into the US or gaining citizenship, the Justice Department finds. The program, deluged by more names and wider checks after 9/11, has struggled with old technology, poor training, and swamped supervisors, the Los Angeles Times reports. And criminals could be cruising through the system.
“The name-check process can result in lengthy delays and the risk of inaccurate information,” Justice's top inspector said, calling current methods “inefficient and untimely.” A rep said the FBI was following the inspector’s advice, adding that more than 4 million name-check requests had been made in fiscal 2007. In March, 327,000 names were awaiting validation; some dated back 3 years.