Prevalent Fraud Rings Worsen US Immigration Crisis


An ICE news release serves as the predication for my commentary today. This news release was posted by ICE on 13th of October 13, 2011 and addresses a fraud ring headed up by an attorney by the name of Earl Seth David that, according to the press release, allegedly provided a staggering number of aliens with lawful status to which they were not entitled- the precise number was not noted but was described as being possibly in excess of 25,000!

Here is an excerpt from that news release. You will notice that reference is made to the DOL. The DOL is the Department Of Labor. As I have noted in many previous commentaries, it was, in fact the Department of Labor that, before the Second World War, was responsible for the enforcement and administration of our nation’s immigration laws. The point was to protect the American workforce from the deleterious impact the influx of foreign workers would have. Wouldn’t it be amazing if our “leaders” of today conducted themselves the way that the leaders of the “Greatest Generation” did back then!

“As a result of the fraud, DOL issued thousands of certifications, and immigration authorities granted legal status to thousands of the David Firm’s clients when such adjustments were unwarranted and otherwise would not have been made. To date, the government has identified at least 25,000 immigration applications submitted by the David Firm – the vast majority of which have been determined to contain false, fraudulent, and fictitious information.”

While is certainly important that the investigation was conducted and that, if found guilty, those responsible for perpetrating this fraud will be made suffer the consequences of their alleged crimes. However, as the saying goes, “It takes two to Tango!”

Here it took thousands to Tango! You will notice a few things in reading the news release. First of all, according to the news release, 27 defendants have been identified and indicted to date with 12 of those having been indicted a couple of days ago. These were the employees of the law firm that was responsible for filing those thousands of applications and persuading the others who furnished the employment letters and other documents that were essential to the application process by which the estimated 25,000 aliens were able to successfully game the system. I presume that among those who were indicted also furnished false letters and other supporting documents and that as the investigation continues and as some of those indicted decide to cooperate that more will be identified and indicted. The issue not addressed is what is being done with the thousands of aliens who allegedly gained visas and lawful status as a result of this massive fraud. Those aliens are obvious coconspirators yet nothing has been said about efforts being made to locate these individuals and prosecute them and/or seek their removal (deportation) from the United States.

If these aliens are not arrested and are not made to pay a price for their criminal conduct, more aliens will be encouraged to seek the services of organizations who promise to help them to game the system, secure in the knowledge that while those who make the arrangements may face adverse consequences for their actions that the aliens who are, in essence smuggled into the United States via the supposedly “legal” system, will have nothing to fear.

Furthermore, I would love to know why this outfit was permitted to operate for as long as it did.

Consider these two non-sequential paragraphs from the news release:

David allegedly continued to operate the scheme from behind-the scenes even after he was suspended from practicing law in New York in March 2004. David fled to Canada in 2006 after learning that his firm was under federal criminal investigation. Nevertheless, illicit profits from the scheme continued to be funneled to him in Canada, including through a bank account in the name of a biblical treatise he had authored titled “Code of the Heart.” The David Firm ceased operations in early 2009 when federal search warrants were executed at several locations associated with the firm.

According to court documents, from 1996 until early 2009, Earl Seth David operated a Manhattan-based immigration law firm (the “David Firm”) that took in millions of dollars through a long-running scheme to charge exorbitant fees to the firm’s alien-clients. In return, the firm procured legal immigration status for the clients based upon phony claims that U.S. employers had “sponsored” the aliens for employment.

Back on May 20, 1997 I participated in my first Congressional hearing at the behest of the then Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Henry Hyde and Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, Lamar Smith on the topic:

“VISA FRAUD AND IMMIGRATION BENEFITS APPLICATION FRAUD” Here is a link to a transcript of that hearing:

This hearing was called as a direct response to the terrorist attacks of 1993 at the CIA and the World Trade Center in which all of those involved in carrying out those attacks were identified as aliens who had gamed the visa process and/or immigration benefits program.

On May 18, 2004 I testified before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims as a result of an invitation that was provided to me by the then Ranking Member of that subcommittee, Sheila Jackson Lee.

The topic of that hearing was:


Here is the link to a transcript of that hearing in its entirety:

Here is an excerpt from my prepared testimony for that hearing:

I would also suggest that the efforts to facilitate cultivating informants in alien-smuggling cases also be used in conjunction with informants who similarly assist in providing information that leads to the elimination or disruption of large-scale fraud rings. Traditionally, these rings either furnish many fraudulent documents to circumvent components of the Immigration and Nationality Act or devise schemes which, on a large scale, provides aliens with a means of obtaining immigration benefits-such as residency and citizenship-to which they are not entitled through such schemes as marriage fraud and labor certification fraud. I make these recommendations in view of the fact that, according to recent GAO reports, fraud is highly prevalent in the immigration benefits program.

Finally, I want to reiterate the point that I welcome efforts that enhance the enforcement of the immigration statutes that would help in securing our Nation’s borders and, consequently, our Nation’s security. I believe that the additional discretionary authority should be given to both components of the enforcement program, ICE and CBP, to facilitate the vital missions of these two agencies.

While so much attention has been paid to our nation’s land borders, especially our southern border, it is estimated that there are at least 5 million illegal aliens who are present in our country who did not run our nation’s borders but entered our country through a port of entry via the inspections process and then, in one way or another, violated the terms of their admission.

The terrorists who attacked our nation on September 11, 2001 and the aliens who attacked our nation in 1993 all engaged in visa fraud and/or immigration benefit fraud.

Following that hearing in 2004 a fraud task force was created as a result of the issues I raised at that hearing. However, as is all too often the case where our government in general and immigration in particular is concerned, there is an extreme lack of resources to provide the sort of integrity to the process by which, in a manner of speaking, our government provides millions of aliens, each year, with the keys to America’s front door!

On May 11, 2006 I testified before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on International Relations.

The topic for that hearing was:

“VISA OVERSTAYS: CAN WE BAR THE TERRORIST DOOR?” Here is a link to the transcript of that hearing in its entirety:

On May 31, 2010 CNN aired a report in which I briefly appeared. The topic for this report was, “Tracking Down Visa Violators.”

Here is a link to that video:

You will likely be surprised and angered to know that there are fewer than 300 enforcement personnel at ICE who are assigned to locating and apprehending millions of visa violators, especially when you realize how many terrorists were able to enter the United States and embed themselves in the United States by committing visa fraud and immigration benefit fraud.

To put things in perspective, the NYPD has about 35, 000 police officers to protect the City of New York and the TSA has an estimated 60,000 employees!

If some elderly person with poor eyesight opens the wrong door at an airport and an alarm sounds, that terminal is likely to go into “Lock down!”

Airliners may be ordered back to their gates and luggage and passengers re-screened, at great expense to the airlines and to the great inconvenience to passengers who may, as a result miss connecting flights and may miss business meetings or not be able to attend weddings or other family events. All in the name of national security.

Yet our nation continues to expand the number of countries whose citizens are able to enter the United States under the aegis of the insane Visa Waiver Program (we are up to 36 such countries today) and visa fraud and immigration benefit fraud permeate the system by which visas are issues, aliens are accorded lawful immigrant status and, in fact, are provided with the highest honor and privilege this or any nation can bestow upon a foreign national (alien)- that privilege being citizenship!

When you consider just how critically important the visa process and the system by which we accord immigration benefits to aliens including lawful immigrant status and United States citizenship, it is utterly unfathomable that the current administration as well as previous administrations of both parties have minimized the importance of these programs that have an integral link to national security!

It is beyond belief that the President and members of both parties, including GOP candidates for the Presidency have called for a massive program to provide illegal aliens with a “Pathway to United States Citizenship!”

In the days, weeks and months after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 a veritable parade of our “leaders” headed for the cameras and microphones of the news media to know why no one had “Connected the dots!”

The dots have been connected! Perhaps they need crayons!

Today’s commentary addresses a major fraud ring, but I can most assuredly tell you that there are many, many more such fraud rings “out there” and a lack of resources and commitment from our leaders make it unlikely that they will ever be discovered or their clients arrested!

I fear that as we saw in 1993 and again in 2001, at some point in the future, terrorists will have once again gamed this “system” that has even less integrity than the southern border of this country and do harm to our nation and our citizens.

It is time for our nation’s leaders, on all levels, to come to terms with the fundamental fact that the basis of our immigration laws is to protect our nation and our citizens from aliens whose presence has the potential to have a serious adverse impact. Ignoring those laws exposes our nation and our citizens to a variety of serious threats and challenges!

A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!

If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same. We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians. I implore you to get involved!

I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world. However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda!

If our government’s failures to secure our nation’s borders and effectively enforce our immigration laws concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation!

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

Michael Cutler, a former Senior INS Investigator, an expert witness in more than a dozen Congressional Hearings is a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies and an advisor to the ‘911 Families for a Secure America.’ He writes about the nexus between immigration and national security.