Prevalent Immigration Fraud Undermines American Workers

571

Here is my most recent commentary for CAPS (Californians for Population Stabilization). This time I decided to focus on one of the most serious failings of the immigration debate and it is an issue that I have yet to hear any candidate from any political party address. This issue threatens national security and undermines American workers. Most of aliens who were involved in terrorism and who have attacked our nation or was found plotting a terrorist attack inside our nation were able to enter our country and hide in plain sight because of this one factor. That factor is fraud.

The issue of fraud is not limited to the United States- other countries are also experiencing fraud within their immigration system. Canada has also experienced fraud and is now addressing it in a way that the United States should adopt.

Of 94 terrorists who were identified as operating inside the United States in the decade leading up to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, 59 of those terrorists were determined to have committed visa fraud or immigration benefit fraud in order to enter the United States and/or embed themselves in the United States.

Fraud also enables aliens to obtain work in the United States in so-called “High-Tech” industries when employers, working in conjunction with lawyers who game the system to systematically defraud American workers out of the jobs that rightfully should go to Americans who have the requisite skills but would expect to receive wages commensurate with their educational levels. More often than not, assertions made by aliens who purportedly possess “exceptional” skills are, in fact as false as the paperwork filed on behalf of those foreign workers. The only exceptional qualities that they possess is their willingness to work for exceptionally low wages!

Abuses in the H-1B visa program that is supposed to enable high-tech workers of skills that are not supposedly available among the United States citizen or lawful immigrant workers are legendary and well documented in a series of GAO reports. As I have noted in previous commentaries, you should take out a couple of minutes to watch a video that I guarantee you will really infuriate you. It is the video of an immigration lawyers’ conference in which lawyers were being coached to “not find qualified U.S. workers!” The lecturer who is instructing the attorneys is a guy by the name of Lawrence M. Lebowitz, the Vice President of Marketing for the firm of Cohen & Grigsby. This video was posted on You Tube by the Programmer Guild, an organization that is comprised of computer programmers.

This video runs for roughly 4 minutes and 30 seconds and I urge you to watch this video that was, I believe, made clandestinely. This is the link to that video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCbFEgFajGU

I want you to now consider that the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is that all-inclusive body of laws that regulates the entry of aliens into the United States and also their presence in the United States. It deals with immigration benefits and the grounds under which an alien might be removed (deported) from the United States.

Under the INA, the law…”

“…excludes aliens seeking to immigrate “for the purpose of performing skilled or unskilled labor,” except that such aliens may be eligible for a visa if:

the Secretary of Labor has determined that (A) there are not sufficient United States workers who are able, willing, qualified and available at the time of application for a visa and admission into the United States and at the place where the alien is to perform the work, and (B) the employment of the alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of the United States workers similarly employed.”

In order for a law to deter the behavior that is the focus of that law is to convince those who would violate that law that there is a credible potential that legal transgressions (crimes) will be discovered, that these crimes will be investigated thoroughly and that, when evidence is gathered that those who violate the laws will be arrested and punished.

With an extreme lack of resources at ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to pursue such investigations and prosecutions and with a clear lack of resolve on the part of politicians who seek to garner contributions from corporations who may well seek to employ such foreign workers, such fraud runs rampantly throughout the system!

An online news website, News With Views occasionally posts my articles and commentaries. On April 1, 2010 that website posted an article I wrote about a citizen 23 year old citizen of Eritrea who had been granted political asylum although he had clearly lied on his application for asylum about a major material fact. While he was purportedly evading those who would kill him in his native Eritrea he was actually smuggling illegal aliens through Guatemala into the United States!

The article was entitled:

“INEPT U.S.C.I.S. GIVES ASYLUM TO A SMUGGLER”

Here is a link to my article:

http://www.newswithviews.com/Cutler/michael182.htm

I based my article on an ICE news release that has since been taken off the ICE website. Here is an important excerpt from that news release:

According to plea documents, from at least June 2007 until approximately January 2008, Fessahazion was the Guatemalan link of an alien smuggling network that spans East Africa, Central and South America. Specifically, Fessahazion illegally entered the United States at McAllen, Texas, on March 20, 2008. He applied for asylum on Sept. 30, 2008, claiming in his application that he was traveling across Africa in 2007 and 2008, fleeing persecution in Eritrea. However, Fessahazion was actually in Guatemala during that period facilitating the smuggling of East African aliens to the United States.

Fessahazion was granted asylum by the United States on Nov. 13, 2008.

What is more than a little astonishing is that while ICE issued the news release to crow about how they had arrested and charged the defendant in this case with alien smuggling, their own news release made it clear that he had easily gamed the process by which he acquired political asylum, yet there was not a single word in the entire news release about any action taken to strip him of his ill-gotten political asylum!

Next I want you to consider an ICE news release dated October 13, 2011 that is still available online. The title of this news release is:

Head of New York law firm charged with immigration fraud

Here is the link to that news release:

http://www.ice.gov/news/releases/1110/111013newyork.htm

Here is the opening paragraphs of this news release:

NEW YORK – The proprietor of a law firm and 11 other individuals were charged Tuesday with operating a massive immigration fraud mill through a Manhattan-based law practice. The defendants and coconspirators allegedly applied for legal status for tens of thousands of illegal aliens based on phony claims that U.S. employers had “sponsored” those aliens for employment in the United States. A total of 27 individuals have been charged as part of the investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG).

Those charged include: Earl Seth David, also known as “Rabbi Avraham David,” who was the principal of the law offices and the scheme’s ringleader, and who was arrested Tuesday in Canada after fleeing the United States; employees of David’s law offices who created fake documents to support the fraudulent immigration applications; numerous phony “sponsors” – individuals who, in exchange for payments from David and his employees, agreed to falsely represent that they were sponsoring aliens for employment; corrupt accountants who created fake tax returns for fictitious sponsor companies; and a corrupt Department of Labor employee who assisted in the scheme.

The agents who pursued this investigation did a good job of ending the criminal conduct for which the defendants are allegedly being charged. However, there was not a word in the news release about any efforts being made to locate and arrest the tens of thousands of illegal aliens who availed themselves of the “services” provided by this organization.

I also want you to consider another excerpt from the same news release:

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.

United States law permits an alien to petition for legal status if the alien has obtained certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that a U.S. employer wishes to employ, or “sponsor,” the alien. An alien who obtains that DOL certification can then use it to petition U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to obtain legal status in the United States. As alleged in the indictment, in return for fees of up to $30,000 per alien-client, the David Firm applied for and obtained thousands of DOL certifications based upon phony employment sponsorships and fabricated documents, including fake pay stubs, fake tax returns, and fake “experience letters,” purporting to show that the sponsorships were real and that the aliens possessed special employment skill sets justifying labor-based certification by DOL. In reality, the sponsors had no intention of hiring the aliens, and the sponsor companies often did not exist other than as shell companies for use in the fraudulent scheme. 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.

You will notice that this firm was operating for 13 years and that the “vast majority” of at least 25,000 applications were found to have allegedly contained false, fraudulent and fictitious information!

How could this have gone on for so long? Why is nothing being done to identify the aliens who are in every sense of the word co-conspirators?

Immigration fraud is not a victimless crime- in all too many cases, immigration fraud has cost Americans their lives or at the least, their livelihoods!

Benjamin Franklin, in discussing our then fledgeling nation. said that they had given us a republic if we could keep it!

What he was making clear was that this democratic republic required that its citizens take their citizenship seriously and keep the political leaders accountable.

It is time for the citizens of our nation to make certain that our nation’s leaders, on all levels, to come to terms with the fundamental fact that the purpose 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 ranging from national security and criminal justice and public safety to the economy, the environment, healthcare and education!

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.

For far too long our citizens demonstrated apathy which 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.

It is therefore understandable that the politicians of both parties, are greatly concerned about the demonstrations currently sweeping our nation just as did the creation of the Tea Party. Clearly more and more of our fellow Americans are demonstrating that they are not as dumb as the politicians from both parties had expected us to be!

I am encouraged that more and more of us, We the People, are not willing to simply sit on the sidelines anymore!

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!

I also believe that the original purpose of our nation’s immigration laws need to be be brought “front and center” to make certain that our nation does not permit the entry of aliens into our country whose presence in our country is problematic for the citizens of our nation and that if such aliens do succeed in entering our country that our nation have the resources, integrity and dedication to do everything possible to make it impossible for such aliens to function within our country so that even if they are not apprehended, they will find it pointless to remain in the United States.

As I have noted on a number of occasions, “No one would break into the amusement park if they could not get to go on the rides and no one remains in the amusement park at the end of the day when they turn shut down the rides and turn off the lights!”

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!

A Tale of Two Countries

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.