IMMIGRATION BENEFIT FRAUD: Focused Approach Is Needed to Address Problems
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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Immigration benefit fraud is a significant problem that threatens the integrity of the legal immigration system. Aliens apply to the Immigration and Naturalization Service INS for such benefits as naturalization, work authorization, and adjustment of status. Immigration benefit fraud involves attempts by aliens to obtain such benefits through illegal means e.g., using fraudulent documents. INS officials believe that the problem is pervasive and serious they also believe that some aliens are using the benefit application process to enable them to carry out illegal activities, such as crimes of violence, narcotics trafficking, and terrorism. In its fiscal year 2000 Threat Assessment, INS predicted that immigration benefit fraud would intensify as smugglers and criminal enterprises searched for other methods to bring illegal aliens into the United States. Recently, proposals have been offered that would separate INS functions into enforcement and service components. Regardless of how INS is restructured, addressing the issues discussed in this report would require that enforcement and service delivery priorities be recognized.
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