Under Obama, fraudulent asylum-seekers were neither prosecuted nor had status revoked…
(Lionel Parrott, Liberty Headlines) If some people now living in the United States gained asylum status through fraud, should the status be stripped away?
The Trump administration thinks so–and it is considering doing something about it, according to a report from National Public Radio.
That means that over 13,500 immigrants granted asylum status years ago by the government could face deportation. Most of them are Chinese.
In the past, the Chinese have proven more successful in asylum cases than other foreign nationals. That’s because what they tell “criteria asylum officers” tends to fit the criteria for winning approval, usually a fear of persecution by the government.
In fact, the success of the Chinese in obtaining asylum status attracted the interest of the Department of Homeland Security back in 2010. DHS started an investigation called “Operation Fiction Writer” in the Chinatown district in Manhattan.
After being nailed during the investigation, one Chinese employee decided to cooperate in exchange for the charges against him being dropped. He told DHS an interesting story: His employer, a law firm, instructed asylum seekers on how to ace their examinations.
Among other things, the firm provided the asylum seekers “boilerplate” stories of persecution, armed them with extra–false–details and created fake documents to support their claims.
“Lawrence,” the alias of the man DHS nabbed, started out as merely an interpreter for the firm before moving on to writing fictional stories to support the claims of asylum seekers, highly embellishing the details and fabricating persecution dramas based on family or politics. All told, he wrote 500 to 600 fake accounts and even developed a study guide for other “coaches” to use with them.
NPR notes that Lawrence, armed with a hidden camera, worked to implicate as many people involved in the scam as possible, resulting in many convictions. But the Obama administration decided not to proceed with criminal prosecutions, and certainly never considered revoking asylum for those who obtained it fraudulently.
Under President Trump, that’s changed. The possibility of stripping fraudulent asylum status from some now living in our country might just become a reality–and along with it, a firm message that fraud doesn’t pay.