With most of the immigration debate being focused on the U.S./Mexican border and on enforcing the immigration laws to punish employers who intentionally hire illegal aliens, one of the biggest failures of the immigration system has yet to be discussed. That issue of immigration fraud.
Fraud is committed when an individual provides false or misleading information on an application so that the beneficiary of that application acquires a benefit he (she) would not be entitled to if all of the material facts were known.
Not all aliens who are illegally present in our country run our nation's borders, millions of illegal aliens who are present in the United States entered our country via the inspections process and then, in one way or another, violated the terms of their admission into the United States or entered the United States by fraudulently securing a visa for the United States.
When I have raised the issue of immigration being an essential component on the “War on Terror” the open borders advocates, a significant number whom are members of Congress, will quickly point out that the 19 terrorists who savagely attacked the United States on September 11, 2001 had all been lawfully admitted into the United States. In point of fact, they all lied on their visa applications! If their true intentions for coming to the United States was known to the consular officials who granted the terrorists their visas had known they were coming to attack our nation and kill as many victims as possible, they never would have been granted those visas that opened the front doors of our nation to them.
The very first time I was called to testify before a Congressional hearing, back on May 20, 1997 the topic of that hearing was on the topic:
The impetus for that hearing came from the two terrorist attacks of 1993 committed on American soil by terrorists from the Middle East who had gamed the visa processes and the immigration benefits program.
It is interesting that while members of Congress promulgated legislation in the wake of the attacks of 9/11 that addressed visa fraud, deeming that an alien who lies on a visa application simply to come to the United States was committing a crime that carries a maximum of ten years in prison, if the visa fraud is carried out to facilitate a crime the maximum penalty increases to fifteen years in prison, if the crime involves narcotics trafficking, the maximum jumps to twenty years and if the purpose behind the visa fraud is to facilitate an act of terrorism, the maximum penalty soars to twenty-five years in prison.
Yet not one candidate for the Presidency has even raised the issue of the lack of integrity to the system by which applications for visas and/or immigration benefits are processed.
Visa fraud represents a huge threat to national security and also has profound implications in other areas of vital concern to our nation and our citizens. One of those areas of concern can be found in the way that applications for work related visas are adjudicated. When the crime of labor certification fraud is committed, American workers lose their jobs and all too often, their ability to support themselves and their families. Often these Americans have advanced degrees that cost them dearly in terms of education costs as well as in the many years of their lives that they invested in acquiring their education. On occasion, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) conducts an investigation into such fraud but almost invariably, while the ring leaders of fraud rings may be prosecuted, no effort is made to locate the thousands of aliens who, in a manner of speaking, stole those American jobs by conspiring with the leaders of those fraud rings to secure visas and immigration benefits they were not entitled to have been granted.
Even when immigration fraud does not involve work-related visas but claimed familial relationships, the impact can also be felt on the labor market as more lawful immigrants who are authorized to work in the United States wind up competing with American workers jobs that are all too scarce.
What is worth noting is how the country to our north, Canada, deals with immigration fraud. Consider this headline from a Canadian newspaper report that was published December 9, 2011:
Here is an excerpt from that news report:
OTTAWA — The federal government is set to crack down on 4,700 more people believed to have obtained citizenship or permanent resident status illegally in what’s being dubbed the biggest citizenship fraud sweep in Canadian history.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is expected to make the announcement that “Canadian citizenship is not for sale” on Friday.
He will unveil the details in Montreal where Nizar Zakka — an immigration consultant suspected of fraud — was arrested in 2009. Zakka is suspected of providing would-be Lebanese immigrants with false evidence — indicating that they were living in Quebec when they were not — to support their cases for permanent residency.
He’s also accused of filing or contributing to the filing of 861 false tax returns for at least 380 clients between 2004 and 2007. The returns allegedly were then used to claim refunds for child care and property taxes as well as the provincial sales-tax credit.
The announcement comes six months after the government moved to strip 1,800 people of their Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status for the same reasons. Up until this year, Canada had revoked just 67 citizenships since the Citizenship Act came into force in 1947.
America must follow Canada's lead!
Time and again the GAO (Government Accountability Office) has issued a succession of reports about the lack of integrity to the process by which aliens are granted visas or immigration benefits, yet the vast majority of aliens who game the system get away with their crimes and often go on to be sworn in as United States citizens.
It is important to understand that many lawful immigrants and naturalized United States citizens have been truthful in their applications and certainly deserve to have been accorded their immigration benefits- the issue of concern is that those who don't abide by the law are not only not punished but are ultimately rewarded!
Our nation is often described as being, “A nation of laws.” It is vital that the first impression that aliens who seek to enter our country should have of our country is that laws are at the foundation of our nation and our society. This impression can only be created if the very process by which aliens are admitted into the United States has real integrity.
Politician who seeks elected office, especially the candidates for the Presidency, talk about their commitment to “creating jobs.” It is time for them to commit themselves to also liberating jobs- jobs being taken by aliens who, in one way or another, should not be working in the United States because of laws that they violated.