It`s the Fraud, Stupid!
(Why the two-bureau INS plan and the EOIR must be
The Time is Now to Abolish the EOIR and Put the INS
under New Management
Stop it, stop it! I can`t stand it any longer!
The proposal to split the Immigration and
Naturalization Service into two parts — a "paperwork"
branch for so-called customer service and an
"enforcement" branch for deporting aliens — would be
an absolute disaster and an open invitation for
immigration benefit fraud. If the INS is going to be
scrapped, the functions of the agency need to be held
together under whatever law enforcement framework takes
its place. And as long as a new border security agency
is on the drawing board, the unwieldy and unworkable
Immigration Court hearing system must be scrapped along
with the beleaguered INS. Let me state the obvious.
For a two-bureau immigration plan to work, in theory,
only "good aliens" are supposed to go to the "paperwork"
bureau, while all the "bad aliens" are handled in the
"enforcement" bureau. But the problem is that "bad
aliens" also submit paperwork — lots of phony
paperwork. The General Accounting Office (GAO) even has
a name for it:
immigration benefit fraud. "Bad aliens" love to get
something for nothing . . . that`s what "bad aliens" do.
Just as bank robbers go where the money is, the "bad
aliens" walk right in the front door of the INS and
apply for anything they want. And the INS obliges. Just
Huffman Aviation International of Venice, Florida.
GAO Says Uh-Oh
The GAO recently lurched uncontrollably into the
truth in reporting the rampant, systemic problem of
immigration benefit fraud at the INS service
centers. The report revealed that the INS has no
coherent system in place for investigating and
apprehending aliens who submit fraudulent applications
for immigration benefits. Any system for weeding out
"bad aliens" at the application service centers (the
current "paperwork" division) is either entirely
hit-and-miss, or doesn`t even exist. Does anyone think
this bankrupt system could be improved by moving the
"enforcement" function even further away to a different
"bureau" of the INS, or kept separate under a new border
security agency? Who would investigate the benefit
fraud? If the different divisions of the INS don`t
communicate now, how would putting them in separate
chains of command help the situation? The INS as we know
it needs to be disbanded, with all of its incompetent
managers scattered to the four winds. The functions of
the INS need to be put under the management of a new
border security enforcement agency that can do the job
of enforcing immigration law and stopping immigration
Benefit Fraud 101
"Bad aliens" go about defrauding the federal
government in many inventive ways. They send the same
application to multiple INS offices under the same name
until they get an approved petition or a green card.
They send the same application under many different
names to the same INS office. They apply for replacement
green cards even if they never had a green card in the
first place. They apply under family petitions by
fictitious relatives until they get a green card. They
apply for immigration status all over again after being
deported. They love the bureaucratic refugee processing
and political asylum systems too. They apply for
political asylum in as many INS offices and under as
many names as they want until they get it right. They
list fictitious children on their applications and sell
the "spots" to others who want to immigrate children
under the phony names. Needless to say, the INS
desperately needs competent information management to
put a stop to the rampant benefit fraud. Taking the law
enforcement out of the "paperwork" division is not the
way to restore integrity to a bankrupt agency.
Abolish the EOIR
Rearranging the deck chairs on the INS-Titanic is bad
enough, but there`s an even bigger obstacle to
immigration reform. As I`ve stated at length on my
web site, the missing link of immigration reform is
the Immigration Court system of the Executive Office for
Immigration Review (EOIR). While the INS plays its role
as Congress` favorite punching bag for immigration
policy, the EOIR hides in the shadows within the DOJ.
The silence about the EOIR is deafening!
It`s a sad fact that the federal government is
equally inept at deporting the aliens it already knows
about, not to mention the ones it doesn`t know about.
The problem is structuring the entire INS detention
operation around the EOIR`s Immigration Court hearing
system, where the standard practice is to release just
about all the aliens that the INS already has in
custody, so they supposedly can be rounded up all over
again sometime in the distant future. This ridiculous
concept really is the four-letter word of the Department
of Justice – E.O.I.R.
Deporting the ones we know about
Everyone is concerned (as they should be) about
finding illegal aliens, tracking visa over-stayers,
rooting out foreign terrorist cells or having the Border
Patrol track down aliens along the border. But these are
the aliens that got away – THE ONES WE DON`T KNOW ABOUT.
The public is starting to catch on that the INS isn`t
too good at finding unknown aliens. But I can assure you
that the system for dealing with THE ONES WE ALREADY
KNOW ABOUT is equally bankrupt. The problem is the EOIR.
The EOIR`s Immigration Court system is just not designed
for deporting anyone anytime soon.
Between the incompetence of the INS, the complete
lack of alien detention center space and the bureaucracy
of the EOIR, our system for deporting known illegal
aliens and criminal alien residents is a sad joke. But
no one is laughing. If all of the illegal aliens and
deportable resident alien criminals were rounded up
tomorrow, the system would not be capable of handling
them. It would be an absolute disaster. The INS and the
EOIR wouldn`t have the foggiest idea of what to do with
them! The aliens would all be released back out on the
street on immigration bonds and go back right where they
were as if nothing happened, while their cases would
grind on through the system of Immigration Court
hearings and endless appeals.
An INS by any other name
No matter what the INS or any border security agency
calls itself, as long as the EOIR hearing system exists,
there will be no real immigration reform. The EOIR must
be abolished along with the INS. The immigration system
in this country must be streamlined and built again from
the ground up. American immigration policy needs to be
put under new management once and for all.
If the EOIR is abolished along with the INS, there
are already a variety of federal officers trained to do
the same functions as the EOIR`s mysterious bureaucrats
in black robes. American immigration policy needs more
officers for law enforcement functions, not more
managers and attorney-bureaucrats in a pseudo- court
system. The federal government already employs an army
of law enforcement officers who could do the job faster
and better than the Immigration Court.
Here`s who could do the work right now:
INS District Adjudications Officers (examiners) –
adjustment of status, derivative citizenship claims,
INS Asylum Officer Corps – political asylum,
withholding of removal, U.N. Convention Against Torture
INS Special Agents (investigators) – administrative
removal, criminal alien apprehension
INS Deportation Officers – administrative removal,
criminal alien removal
U.S. Border Patrol Agents – administrative removal,
Section 235(b) determinations
INS Immigration Inspectors – expedited removal,
Section 235(b) determinations, humanitarian parole
INS District Directors – waivers, registry,
INS District Counsels – provide legal advice to all
of the above in determining whether aliens are removable
U.S. consular officers abroad – all immigrant and
non-immigrant visa processing, political asylum, refugee
petitions, United States citizenship determinations
Section 245(i) – the nightmare continues
For any immigration system to work with integrity,
the Immigration and Nationality Act also should be
amended to abolish (at the very least) all stealth
amnesty provisions that reward law-breaking, including
Section 245(i) adjustments and non-permanent resident
cancellation of removal under Section 240A(b). Remember
those "bad aliens?" Well, they are going to love the new
extended stealth amnesty provisions of Section
245(i) passed again by the House of Representatives.
They`ll be filing relative petions early and often.
Any illegal alien or visa-overstayer who has a
spouse, parent, child, brother or sister who is a United
States citizen or a green card holder will NOT be
deported under this scheme, thanks to the 245(i)
provision. If the INS won`t deport you while waiting for
your 245(i) petition to be decided (regardless of how
fraudulent it may be), it sure looks like an amnesty.
There`s going to be plenty of fraud coming soon. It`s an
opportunity of a lifetime, or at least until Congress
grants yet another amnesty. Can you make Congress stop
Juan Mann is the proprietor of
the only immigratin reform web site that exposes the
bureaucracy of the EOIR. He dedicates his work to the
principle that one man`s opinion can make a difference.
March 20, 2002