Thursday, May 23, 2013

VIDEO: Immigration Fraud Expert Featured in New Series?

Fraud rates were in the double digits in nearly every benefit program audited

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."

Interview Table of Contents

1. An Introduction to FDNS
2. An Introduction to Immigration Fraud
3. Benefit Fraud Assessments
4. Marriage Fraud
5. A Modern Employment Visa Program
6. Immigration Fraud and National Security
7. Confidentiality Provisions and Privacy
8. Evaluating DACA
9. Affidavits of Support and Sponsers
10. The Value of Compliance Reviews
11. Overseas Verification Program
12. The Resolution of Fraud Cases
13.Benefit Fraud Assessments
14. FDNS Needs
15. Moving Towards a Cost Effective Immigration System

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.

The video can be viewed  here.

Stockholm burns as rioters battle police after three days of violence in immigrant 'ghetto'

Sweden is reeling after a third night of rioting in largely run-down immigrant areas of the capital Stockholm.  In the last 48 hours violence has spread to at least ten suburbs with mobs of youths torching hundreds of cars and clashing with police.

It is Sweden's worst disorder in years and has shocked the country and provoked a debate on how Sweden is coping with youth unemployment and an influx of immigrants.

The disorder has intensified despite a call for calm from Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Last night, rioters attacked the police station in the Jakosberg area in the northwest of the city and set fire to 30 cars.

Groups of youths also smashed shop windows and burned down a 19th Century cultural centre.

Gangs of up to 60 set fire to a school and a nursery and hurled rocks at police and firefighters.

The unrest appears to have been sparked by the police killing of a 69-year-old man wielding a machete in the suburb of Husby on Sunday, which prompted accusations of police brutality.

It has provoked fierce debate in the country, which prides itself on a reputation for social justice, on the government's economic policies.

The violence has sparked debate in the country on the effect of the government's social policies

Critics say immigrant ghettos have been created where unemployment is high and there are few opportunities for residents.

The left-leaning tabloid Aftonbladet said the riots represented a 'gigantic failure' of government policies, which had underpinned the rise of ghettos in the suburbs.  'We have failed to give many of the people in the suburbs a hope for the future,' Anna-Margrethe Livh of the opposition Left Party wrote in the daily Svenska Dagbladet.

An anti-immigrant party, the Sweden Democrats, has risen to third in polls ahead of a general election due next year, reflecting unease about immigrants among many voters.

Eight people were arrested last night but police said they had no reports of injuries.

Kjell Lindgren, spokesman for Stockholm police, said today: 'We've had around 30 cars set on fire last night, fires that we connect to youth gangs and criminals.'

Prime Minister Reinfeldt told reporters yesterday: 'Everyone must pitch in restore calm - parents [and] adults.'

After decades of practising the 'Swedish model' of generous welfare benefits, the country has been reducing the role of the state since the 1990s, spurring the fastest growth in inequality of any advanced OECD economy.

While average living standards are still among the highest in Europe, governments have failed to substantially reduce long-term youth unemployment and poverty, which have affected immigrant communities worst.

Some 15 per cent of the population is foreign-born, the highest proportion in the Nordic region.

Unemployment among those born outside Sweden stands at 16 per cent, compared with just six per cent for native Swedes, according to OECD data.

Among 44 industrialised countries, Sweden ranked fourth in the absolute number of asylum seekers, and second relative to its population, according to U.N. figures.


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