In the past years leading up to the 2016 election and throughout Trump’s presidency, there have been many claims of overwhelming fraud in the immigration system.
Promising to rid the United States of the “bad hombres” and those ‘cheating the system’ highlighted Trump’s campaign and the president has stuck to his guns since his election.
While USCIS has been tasked with this mission of reducing fraud by this administration, it seems that not much fraud has turned up.
According to Angelo Paparelli of Los Angeles, its been “shocking…how little fraud they have found.” Paparelli told Bloomberg Law, USCIS’s attention to “the prevelance of fraud and abuse” is turning out to be a “tempest in a teapot.”
USCIS had a massive 23,000 site visits during the 2018 fiscal year. But of that 23,000, only 1,117 cases were referred to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) due to benefit fraud.
The agency’s emails set up for fraud tips with H-1Bs and H-2Bs have received close to 7,000 tips. But, only “dozens” have resulted in active investigations and “several” were referred to ICE for criminal investigation.
William Stock of Philadelphia said that there has been a “remarkable amount of time and effort to chase down a chimera of fraud…[but] most employers are following the law.”
Stock was surprised at the large volume of tips that USCIS received, but is unsurprised that only a slim number “lead to actionable intelligence.”
The investigations against immigration fraud are one of Trump’s many implementations for his “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, unveiled in April of 2017. The order includes rules that are to help protect the U.S. worker.
Michael Bars, the USCIS spokesman, issued a statement that said, “As a core part of the USCIS mission, we strive to unearth, investigate, and combat instances of fraud and other activities threatening the integrity of our nation’s lawful immigration system…USCIS will continue working to shine a light on acts of fraud wherever they can be detected…”
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