Fraud Uncovered in Special Refugee Admissions Program for Iraqis

“The criminal case has exposed staggering gaps in security at Homeland Security’s legal immigration agency.”

(Reporter Stephen Dinan)

This is a followup to a post I wrote at RRW a few weeks ago.

Biden Admin Halts Special Refugee Program for Iraqis Due to Fraud Bust

Even as refugee resettlement contractors*** say it isn’t so, and attempt to silence us by getting us listed as hate groups at the Southern Poverty Law Center  (more to say on this later) for daring to raise the issue of national security breaches and fraudulent activity that surrounds refugee admissions from the Middle East, they can’t hide the truth.

The US Refugee Admissions program is filled with fraud! Here is more proof that you have no idea who your ‘new American’ neighbors are!

From the Washington Times (hat tip: Anne):

‘Sophisticated insider threat’ at DHS immigration agency forces pause to Iraqi refugee program

Ali had been anxiously eyeing the first days of the Biden administration, counting on the president’s promises of a new era in immigration to clear hurdles and help him get the visa he’s been seeking for years, as a reward for helping the U.S. war effort in Iraq.

But two days into the new administration, those hopes were dashed when the State Department announced an emergency pause on the special Iraqi refugee program.

Prosecutors had just revealed an almost unthinkable internal security breach: Two Homeland Security employees had been selling secret files from the Iraqi program for years, leaving security experts to figure out the damage, and the State Department to try to cauterize the wound.

The scam also left those like Ali — a pseudonym The Washington Times is using to protect his identity — worried about what bad guys might now know about him.

“I was literally counting the days of Trump’s presidency term and wishing Biden wins the election to resume the program so we can finally get our freedom and restore our normal life,” Ali told The Times in an email. “Now with this news I receive another shock to be added to my life’s tragedy.”

The criminal case has exposed staggering gaps in security at Homeland Security’s legal immigration agency, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The fraud is similar to asylum fraud we have reported in the past at RRW where lawyers create a ‘sob story’ that is used with variations to get an applicant through the process.

NYT: “Asylum Fraud in Chinatown: Industry of Lies”

Sources told The Times the goal was not, as Ali feared, to glean information that could be used to exact retribution against those who helped the U.S. Instead, the scammers were trying to exploit America’s generosity to pave a path for undeserving people.

Having access to the case files from successful applications gave the fraudsters a template to help others craft their own applications, cutting out information that had sunk others and highlighting the factors that had worked in previous cases.

“These guys were seeing applications and write-ups of those who were successfully able to establish eligibility, and basically take those narratives and repurpose them for others,” said Rob Law, the past chief of policy at USCIS.

“People adopt similar stories, once someone is found to successfully navigate the system.”

[….]

Robert Law at CIS https://cis.org/Law

Top Republicans on the House’s Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs committees have demanded secret briefings on what went wrong, calling it a “sophisticated insider threat.”

[….]

Mr. Law, now director of regulatory affairs and policy at the Center for Immigration Studies, said he expects more revelations about the extent of the fraud.

“What’s being currently reported as being uncovered is potentially just the beginning,” he said.

He also said the scam should be a caution to the Biden administration as it seeks to unwind former President Donald Trump’s strict vetting of refugees and other foreign arrivals.

There is more, continue reading here.

I have an extensive archive at RRW on the special immigrant visa program for Iraq and Afghanistan (a Ted Kennedy gift to America).  To learn more go here.

 

***For Readers unfamiliar with the US Refugee Admissions Program these are the nine federal refugee contractors who worked to put Biden and Harris in the White House and are lobbying for millions of illegal aliens to be transformed into legal voting citizens, as well as raising the refugee admissions ceiling from 15,000 this year to 125,000.

These nine contractors are largely responsible for choosing where to place special immigrant visa holders from Iraq and Afghanistan. During the Trump years regular refugee numbers were low, especially from Muslim countries. However, the SIVs coming in afforded the contractors paying work as their numbers did not decline at least in the early years of the Trump administration.

These nine fake charities (really quasi-government agencies) are paid by you, the taxpayer, for their work of changing America by changing the people, and in so doing, are putting Americans last!

And, to add insult to injury, the CONTRACTORS are jumping for joy because Biden has promised to get rid of Trump’s extreme vetting.

 

Immigrants Wail and Moan: Won’t Be Able to Vote this Year

And, that is because the Chinese virus has slowed all government functions including those at the USCIS!

From Roll Call:

Citizenship delays may keep many immigrants from fall vote

Pandemic postpones naturalization interviews and ceremonies, adding to a backlog already worsened by budget woes

(I’m going to start my snips with these few paragraphs at the end of this story because it infuriated me!  If we have so much racial injustice and discrimination here, then just go home to India!)

Reeti Ghosh, an immigrant from India, started her naturalization process more than a year ago. She looked forward to finally voting, which she viewed as an opportunity to speak up about the racial injustice she witnessed in the country and even discriminatory behavior she felt locally, in her New Jersey community.

She was scheduled to take her civics test in April, but the pandemic canceled the appointment. Despite repeated attempts by her lawyer to reschedule, she has yet to hear back from USCIS with a new date.

“I really feel frustrated and honestly I can’t wait for this process to be done and over with,” she said. “It’s just the uncertainty. It is like a time bomb ticking. … You’re just really waiting for things to happen and just waiting there for no real reason.”

So boo-hoo, wait until the next election or go home and ‘fix’ India’s discrimination!

Now here is more of the story:

When Juliana Ximenes Coutinho Dias submitted her naturalization application last December, the possibility of finally becoming a U.S. citizen and getting to vote in the country she has called home for the past six years electrified the Brazil native.

But then the coronavirus pandemic hit. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which adjudicates immigration benefits and visas, shut down its field offices. It also postponed naturalization interviews and ceremonies, adding to a backlog worsened by budget woes and threatening to prevent hundreds of thousands of would-be citizens from registering in time to vote this November.

[….]

Hetlage [USCIS spokesman Dan Hetlage ]said the agency is on pace to naturalize approximately 600,000 new citizens by the end of the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. But that’s nearly 30 percent lower than the previous year when 834,000 new citizens were sworn in, the highest number in 11 years, according to USCIS.

[….]

Naturalizations tend to spike in an election year and drop right after. Before the pandemic, the National Partnership of New Americans, a coalition of state, federal and local organizations that help new citizens register to vote, estimated that 860,000 people were scheduled to become U.S. citizens by the end of the year.

More than 23 million U.S. citizens who were born abroad could be part of the overall electorate this fall, according to a Pew Research Center analysis released earlier this year. That’s about 1 in 10 Americans, a record high.

In fact, the number of new citizens since the last election alone exceeds Trump’s margin of victory in Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Michigan combined, and has made up substantial portions of the growth in each state’s eligible voters since 2016.

More here.

See that I have a tag for the National Partnership for New Americans.

As Immigration Slows due to Chinese Virus, Federal Employees at USCIS Could be Furloughed

“These are good-paying jobs, these are federal employees with good health insurance, good salaries and good retirement benefits. This is not like losing a low wage job.”

(Gabriel Pedreira, regional union organizer for the American Federation of Government Employees)

 

That is if Congress doesn’t move swiftly to bail out the agency that processes applications for citizenship among other things.

The Dems must be going nuts because this is just the season when their push to get more Democrat voters through the citizenship process in time for the November election is usually in full swing.

The story is from the Vermont Digger, a publication I highly recommend to readers interested in what is happening in the people’s republic of Vermont.  (Hat tip: Brenda)

Vermont USCIS employees face furlough due to budget shortfall

 

Thousands of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employees across the country, including some based in Vermont, may be furloughed next month due to a shortfall in the federal agency’s budget.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a “dramatic” decrease in revenue the agency relies on, generated by applications and petitions related to citizenship, according to a USCIS spokesperson. In response, 13,400 USCIS employees nationwide may be furloughed as a cost-saving measure.

Vermont is home to one of five USCIS service centers that are responsible for processing millions of citizenship applications, according to a 2017 report to Congress. The agency employees people primarily in St. Albans and Essex.

During the 2016 fiscal year of the five service centers, Vermont’s had both the highest allowed employee spots of 1,021 and the highest number of working staff of 959 employees.

Union organizer Pedreira

Gabriel Pedreira, a regional organizer for the American Federation of Government Employees, the union that represents USCIS employees said the situation for Vermont is particularly dire.

[….]

According to the USCIS spokesperson, the shortfall is due to a projected drop of 61% in citizenship applications and petitions through the end of the 2020 fiscal year.

[….]

Cross-border travel into the United States has slowed drastically during the Covid-19 crisis, as travel restrictions have been imposed — including the partial closure of the U.S.-Canada border.

[….]

Pedreira said in a time of economic decline in the United States, the loss of pay for USCIS employees affects more than just those workers — it affects the entire economy.

“These are good-paying jobs, these are federal employees with good health insurance, good salaries and good retirement benefits. This is not like losing a low wage job,” Pedreira said. “So these are employees who because they make a good salary contribute to the local economy.”

Who cares about the rest of you low wage nonessential workers hurt by the Chinese Virus—these are good jobs!

Continue reading here and see that the old curmudgeon Senator Patrick Leahy is on the case.

 

Feds Streamline Immigration Fraud Reporting Procedure

NumbersUSA alerted its members last week to a new system at the USCIS for citizens to report fraud.  Thanks to reader Michael for telling me about it.

USCIS Launches New Online Form for Reporting Fraud

 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has launched a new online tip form to help the public provide the agency with information about immigration fraud. The new online form, available on the USCIS public website, prompts the user for the information that the USCIS’ fraud investigators need to investigate allegations of immigration benefit fraud or abuse.

See that USCIS had previously provided e-mail addresses to report fraud, but will be phasing those out.

The new online tip form collects information related to the relevant fraud, identifies the type of benefit in question and provides space for the user to describe the alleged fraud or abuse in additional detail.

This online form streamlines fraud reporting by replacing three email boxes USCIS now uses for fraud and abuse reporting. The tip form will make the tip process more effective and efficient. Every day, well-intentioned people try to report immigration fraud or abuse to USCIS, but our USCIS’s internal procedures did not allow for a consistent and timely way to respond.

More here.

Marriage fraud, such as I reported in my previous post today, would be something you could report through this new system.  See USCIS list.