The agency in charge of granting citizenship and visas to immigrants is tired of getting duped by scammers and fraud lawyers and its new boss plans to fight back.
Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, told Secrets that one of his top priorities will be to sniff out fraud among those trying to win citizenship, and take them to court.
“Anybody who lies to us about anything shouldn’t get whatever it is that they are asking for. And to me that’s pretty commonsensical,” he said.
Besides preserving citizenship for those who deserve or earn it, Cuccinelli said that the army of investigators and other officials at USCIS must be respected and not constantly lied to.
“We are taking steps to address all of these things … I think to the great enthusiasm to the people here in the agency,” he said, adding, “I think we are going to put ourselves in a position to prosecute virtually all of these. And that’s very unique .”
Officials said that some of those seeking visas and citizenship, and even lawyers representing them, have engaged in rampant fraud.
One typical example is marriage fraud.
“Marriage fraud … is a high-level frustration, one for our folks who respect their own work. And when they see cheaters they want that dealt with. And it doesn’t respect their work and their effort and their commitment to making these legal processes legitimate if you just let the cheaters go,” said Cuccinelli.
“The reason marriage fraud is so important is because it is associated with citizenship, which is the most valuable thing that we offer here. Everything that we offer here is a privilege, not a right. No non-American has a right to anything that comes through USCIS,” he added.
And in several cases, lawyers for immigrants lie about their clients to get visas — and sometimes the immigrants don’t know their lawyer is committing fraud.
By Paul Bedard for WASHINTON EXAMINER
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