Did the INS Shred Your Documents Too?

It has been 30 days and you still have not received a receipt from the INS for applications sent to the Laguna Niguel service center in Orange County? Maybe you should check if you are one of those unfortunate souls whose documents have been accidentally shredded by the INS.

The INS is currently investigating allegations that documents mailed to the Orange County processing center have been improperly shredded by Datatrac Information Services, a database contractor working for the INS. This is the second occasion in the last two months that the integrity of the INS contractors has been questioned. The INS was recently under scrutiny for its Kentucky contract facility’s oversight of mailing visa approvals to two of the 19Middle Eastern hijackers who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Virginia Kice, the INS spokeswoman stressed that there is no definitive proof of illegal destruction of government property or potential motive had been discovered, or how many documents have been affected. The Laguna Niguel service center is the clearinghouse for applicants from California, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii. The center receives an average of 60,000 pieces of mail, including applications for asylum, citizenship, visa permits and extensions, and petitions for relatives to immigrate to the United States.

If you are a petitioner and have not received a receipt from the INS for application sent to the Laguna Niguel service center within the last 30 days, it may be wise to call the agency to check the status of your application or retain an attorney to insure that your application is properly adjudicated.