Why It Is Important To Fight Back Against Immigration Services Fraud
- Focusing on protecting immigrants from consumer fraud is a terrific means of building better relationships with the community.
- It is especially important for law enforcement agencies to demonstrate a dedication to investigating and prosecuting schemes targeting immigrants. These efforts will encourage immigrants to report and cooperate with local law enforcement when they are investigating crimes.
Harm to Immigrants of Immigration Services Fraud
Below are some common consequences of immigration services fraud, though the list is not exhaustive:
- Becoming deportable: A person who was not admissible to the US at the time of entry or application for adjustment of status is deportable. Likewise, someone who falsely claims to be in a bona fide relationship and marries a United States citizen is committing marriage fraud and subject to deportation. There is also a risk that once a person has made himself or herself known to immigration authorities that he or she will be brought to the attention of US Immigration & Customs Enforcement. This is especially likely if the immigrant has a criminal record.
- Detention: Immigrants may be detained during the pendency of their immigration court proceedings, or after a removal order is entered. If the immigrant has previously engaged in immigration fraud, he or she may be subject to detention.
- Ineffective assistance: Victims of immigration fraud frequently receive ineffective counsel. This may lead to missed opportunities, inaccurate applications, and delays in the rendering of a final decision on the immigrant’s adjustment of status application or petition
- Forfeiture of eligibility for a temporary visa or green card: Any individual “who, by fraud or willfully misrepresenting a material fact, seeks to procure (or has sought to procure or has procured) a visa, other documentation, or admission into the United States or other benefit provided under this Act is inadmissible.” In other words, immigration fraud can prevent an immigrant from qualifying for a temporary visa or a favorable status adjustment, unless he or she qualifies for a waiver which is uncommon.Additionally, if an immigrant lies about a material fact on his or her asylum application, he or she will be forever barred from receiving any benefit under the immigration laws.
- Loss of money: If a purveyor of immigration fraud files a fabricated or deficient immigration application, or simply decides not to perform the immigration services he was retained to conduct, it is frequently the immigrant who suffers the most harm. In many cases, the victim not only receives subpar legal representation, but may also lose all the money he or she paid to the ISP.