"USCIS [US Customs and Immigration Service] and the Department of Justice's Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) have limited capabilities to detect asylum fraud," the report, issued on Wednesday, stated.
The two government entities have mechanisms to investigate fraud in individual applications, but neither has assessed fraud risks across the asylum process in accordance with leading practices for managing fraud risks, the GAO pointed out.
"Without regular assessments of fraud risks, USCIS and EOIR lack reasonable assurance that they have implemented controls to mitigate those risks," the report warned.
USCIS’s capability to identify patterns of fraud across asylum applications is hindered because it relies on a paper-based system for the applications and does not electronically capture some key information that could be used to detect fraud, GAO noted.
The asylum status of 374 people from fiscal years 2010 through 2014 was terminated for fraud. USCIS adopted in August 2015 a target of 180 days for reviewing evidence and decides whether to begin termination proceedings, according to the report.