A top immigration fraud expert tells of fraud and national security risks in our legal immigration system and what should be done about it, in a new video series from the Center for Immigration Studies.
Louis “Don” Crocetti, Jr., architect and former (retired) chief of the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), discusses the nature and volume of fraud detected, actions taken to combat it, and vulnerabilities that continue to exist, while simultaneously being responsive to qualified applicants.
Mr. Crocetti says in the introduction video, “The principal types that we’re talking about that have the double digit rates that exceed 10 to 20 percent in some areas, perhaps even 30 to 40 percent in others, do track back to more of the employment-based and asylum applications and petitions. Marriage obviously has a double digit fraud rate – below 20 percent – but in my opinion, that is pretty significant.”
Crocetti’s observations and recommendations take on new importance as the Senate debates the Schumer-Rubio bill, S. 744, which would dramatically expand guest worker and legal immigration programs, as well as legalize an estimated 11 million illegal aliens. The union representing 12,000 USCIS employees who administer these programs announced its opposition to the bill on Monday, warning of fraud, among other things. The union’s president said “USCIS adjudications officers are pressured to rubber stamp applications instead of conducting diligent case review and investigation.”
The interview can be viewed online at: http://cis.org/CISInterviews/Don-Crocetti-USCIS-FDNS
Among the points made by Crocetti:
- Terrorists and criminals continue to exploit our immigration system, which shows the need for more thorough and recurring screening of applicants, as well as better information-sharing between agencies.
- Fraud rates were in double digits among employment and marriage-based categories, and asylum applications, including the controversial H-1B program.
- Unlike years past, technology is available to detect and deter fraud and identify threats to national security and public safety; we simply need to use it more effectively and on all applications. USCIS must collect biometrics to establish identity, conduct background checks, and verify information critical to determining eligibility.
- Compliance audits, verification, and assessments have proven invaluable to identifying fraud. In one application type (green card replacement) USCIS was able to nearly eliminate fraud through collection of biometrics. In another category (religious workers), fraud was significantly reduced through site visits to verify information on the petition. These tools need to be used for all categories, but their implementation has been stalled.
- USCIS adjudicators need to be provided more anti-fraud training and allowed additional time to pursue suspected fraud, as well as empowered to place those who are denied a benefit into removal proceedings if unlawfully present.
View the Senate bill, CIS Senate testimony and commentary at: http://cis.org/Border-Security-Economic-Opportunity-Immigration-Modernization-Act