Many people in the immigrant community are well-aware of the fact that
immigration fraud occurs. However, many of these immigrants do not realize that
immigration fraud is criminalized under the Immigration Nationality Act (INA). Immigration
fraud (document fraud), is right up there with
domestic violence, crimes of moral turpitude, falsely claiming citizenship, and
drug trafficking – all
deportable offenses under the INA.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), “ICE places a high priority on investigating document and
benefit fraud.” ICE goes on to say that such fraud “poses
a severe threat to national security and public safety.”
Immigration & Benefit Fraud
Both document and benefit fraud are linked to several different types of
immigration crimes, including human trafficking and human smuggling to
name a few. So, what are document and benefit fraud exactly? Let’s
take a closer look:
Document fraud, otherwise known as identity fraud, involves the altercation, manufacturing,
selling, or use of identity documents for the purpose of circumventing
(avoiding or going around) U.S. immigration laws. Often, identity fraud
is a form of identity theft; for example, when a person uses someone else’s
birth certificate, driver’s license number, or Social Security number
– those are identity theft crimes.
Benefit fraud is where an immigrant intentionally lies about a material fact on an application
or petition to receive an immigration benefit. According to ICE, “Benefit
fraud can be an extremely lucrative form of white-collar crime.”
The Identity and Benefit Fraud Unit investigates people who commit document
and benefit fraud. The Unit does not work alone; it coordinates its efforts
with other government agencies, such as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of State,
and the U.S. Department of Labor.
If you are accused of immigration fraud or facing deportation, we urge you to
contact our firm at once to meet with a Plano immigration attorney.