GAO Report: Immigration fraud `out of control`


No sooner had President Bush and his Mexican
counterpart, Vicente Fox, decided to

resume
the backroom palaver over an amnesty for the
3.5 million illegal Mexican aliens in the United States
than the General Accounting Office burst forth with a
report showing that the immigration system is already
out of control. Aside from the 793 other

valid arguments
against amnesty, the GAO has come up
with yet another one.

The GAO study (read it in

PDF format
),
prepared at the

request
of House Judiciary Committee Chairman James
Sensenbrenner, shows that what the Immigration and
Naturalization Service calls "benefit fraud" is
"rampant" and "out of control."

"Benefit" is bureaucratic jargon for changes in
immigration status that enable the immigrant to remain
in the United States. It includes letting immigrants
become naturalized citizens, granting work permits and
upgrading the visa status of foreign visitors. To
conclude that "benefits fraud" is out of control is to
say that the people in charge of enforcing border
security don`t know who`s coming into the country or how
they got here.

There`s a good deal in the report that raises
security concerns, as Mr. Sensenbrenner remarked. The
report, he

said
, "raises a whole host of troubling homeland
security threats posed by an immigration benefits
process wrought with fraud." The GAO found that INS
officials "believe that some aliens are using the
benefit application process to enable them to carry out
… crimes of violence, narcotics trafficking and
terrorism" in the United States.

The frauds include arranging

fake marriages
or falsifying evidence of marriages
so immigrants can claim they`re merely

reuniting with their families
. Others involve faking
membership in certain categories of immigrants accorded
special treatment, like

clergymen, priests and nuns
, or as "essential
workers." In the Los Angeles area, the GAO found that 90
percent of 5,000 petitions for workers sought by foreign
firms are fraudulent. After following up the study with
another investigation, the GAO found that in 1,500
petitions filed, only one was not fraudulent.

The whole process of

falsification of documents
puts loot into the
pockets of criminals who forge them, smugglers who
peddle them and

crooked businessmen
who use them to rake in the
cheap labor they crave. Of 22,000 applications for
aliens submitted by a "consulting firm" for immigration,
the GAO found that 5,500 were clearly fraudulent and
another 4,400 were suspected of fraud. The INS itself
"does not know the extent of the immigration benefit
fraud problem," but the problem "is pervasive and
significant and will increase as smugglers and other
criminal enterprises use fraud as another means of
bringing illegal aliens, including criminal aliens, into
the country."

The report doesn`t directly study illegal aliens, but
it does tell us that a great many immigrants ostensibly
here legally are simply fakes, illegals dressed up as
legal immigrants, and a lot of them dangerous fakes. If
we did pass an amnesty program for illegals, the INS
wouldn`t be able to enforce it. How could an agency
unable to enforce laws on benefit applications keep
track of which illegals are eligible for amnesty and
which need to be kicked out?

Nevertheless, amnesty seems to be on the way. INS
Commissioner

James Ziglar
told the pro-immigration lobby, the

National Immigration Forum
, last month,

"Some believe that our migration talks with Mexico have
been forgotten in the wake of Sept. 11. I assure you
that is not the case."
  Rep. Tom Tancredo, probably
the most sensible advocate of immigration control now in
Congress, says, "I can confirm that the White House is
pressuring representatives to act" on the president`s
passion for amnesty.

He

also says
amnesty "would be a kick in the teeth to
the thousands of individuals across the world who are
legally attempting to enter the United States," and so
it would be. But it would be an even meaner kick at the
millions of Americans who want their country preserved
from the crime, drugs and terrorism that illegal
immigrants import and the INS

can`t stop or catch.

Nor would amnesty be limited to Mexican illegals.
Ever since Mr. Bush started muttering about amnesty, the
Democrats have demanded he expand it to include all
illegal aliens inside the country.

That pretty much discloses why Mr. Bush as well as
the Democrats care about amnesty at all. In addition to
the

cheap labor
their backers demand, amnesty will also
eventually mean

cheap votes.
Mr. Bush imagines the aliens he
amnesties will support him; the Democrats think otherwise,
and so far there`s little evidence to contradict them.

Instead of worrying about which illegals we`re going
to legalize and trying to

cadge votes
from them before they`re

even eligible
to enter the voting booth,

Republicans
and

Democrats
might try thinking about the good of the
nation for a change and work on fixing an immigration
control system that has now been proved to be
literally—and dangerously—out of control.

Sam Francis webpage

COPYRIGHT 2001 CREATORS
SYNDICATE, INC.

February 28, 2002