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Mr. West said that interagency tensions - even on the issue of counterterrorism - persisted, especially at the ground level, “despite all the kumbaya from the political appointees.”

“There was a lot of misunderstanding and miscommunication” between State and DHS staff, Jess T. Ford, the GAO report’s lead author confirmed to The Times.

Mr. Ford said that of the 13 visa security units GAO looked at, only two had proper guidance for staff about how the review process should work, and what role everyone had.

But he said DHS told auditors a new agreement with ICE, signed in January, would address that issue.