What is Document & Benefit Fraud?

There are different types of immigration fraud with two of them being document and benefit fraud. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as “ICE” places a great deal of attention and focus on investigating immigration fraud because they threaten national security, and they threaten the public’s safety.

“Why does document and benefit fraud threaten national security?” Because, they make our country vulnerable to terrorists, who can illegally enter the country and attack our people, much like with what happened with the 09/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Document Fraud vs. Benefit Fraud

Both document and benefit fraud are involved in a number of immigration-related fraud crimes, including but not limited to:

  • Human trafficking
  • Human smuggling
  • Worksite enforcement
  • Visa compliance enforcement
  • Critical infrastructure protection
  • National security investigations

So, what is document fraud? Document fraud (commonly referred to as identify fraud) has to do with the selling, altering, manufacturing, using, or counterfeiting of identifying documents, such as driver licenses, birth certificates, passports, Social Security cards, etc. to go around U.S. immigration laws or to execute other criminal activities.

Document or identify fraud often involves identity theft, a crime where a fraudster steals the identity of another person, whether the victim is dead or alive.

In contrast, benefit fraud is where an immigrant intentionally and willfully misrepresents (lies about) a material fact on an application or petition so they can gain an immigration benefit, such as asylum, a Green Card or a visa.

According to ICE, “Benefit fraud can be an extremely lucrative form of white-collar crime, often involving sophisticated schemes and multiple co-conspirators.” ICE has an Identity and Benefit Fraud Unit, which is responsible for investigating document and benefit fraud.

Are you accused of immigration fraud in Plano, Dallas or Fort Worth? If so, contact our firm at once for defense representation.

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