Yemeni immigrants often use a variation of immigration fraud based on impersonating applicants for immigration visas. A Yemeni immigrant, with the help of a cooperating American citizen, obtains an immigrant visa for a sibling or non-infant child. The immigrant visa is then sold or given to another person. The Yemeni who obtains it, usually (though not always) a cousin or distant relative, then has documentation to show “legal status” and the eventual ability to sponsor more family based immigrants in the future.
This is not an original scheme. In the 1990s, many Vietnamese immigrants would claim an Amerasian child as a family member and immigrate to the United States because of the child’s supposed descent from an American serviceman. Of course, many of these claims were based on phony documentation, easily available in corrupt Vietnam. This writer remembers processing these fraudsters and their relatives at a Port-of-Entry where they arrived with their immigrant visas. The scam was obvious, as none of the alleged Amerasians looked mixed race. The U.S. government did nothing.
Many Filipinos used a similar scam, where they would fraudulently claim more dependent children than they really had, basically selling slots to friends and relatives who had minor children they could pass off as their own when an immigrant visa slot came up for a qualified adult. The U.S. government actually did respond to this fraud by using local investigators to interview friends and neighbors about the number of dependent children of an immigrant visa applicant. However, there were never enough resources provided to make the anti-fraud program truly effective—and this was before the days of cheap genetic testing. Still, it was something.
And the federal government is, haltingly, trying to do something about immigration fraud from Yemen. The only way for the State Department to address fraud is to revoke the passports of those it believes have committed fraud. Quite frequently this is done in Yemen, as many of these Yemeni immigrants don’t like living in the US. either as legal permanent residents or as American citizens. After all, a fraudulently obtained welfare check or Social Security disability payment goes a longer way in Yemen, and you don’t have to send your daughters to school.
However, this has now emerged as a kind of Civil Rights crisis for Treason Bar and a major story in the left-wing press:
Civil liberties groups have asked the State Department’s Office of Inspector General to investigate what they said were years of misconduct at the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, including a wave of dubious passport revocations.Yet looking at the details suggests there is more is going on here than Obama’s federal government suddenly turning against Muslims. For example:
The request, which includes previously unreleased emails from seemingly desperate Americans stranded in Yemen, comes as seven civil rights and immigration lawyers from across the U.S. tell The Intercept that their clients have had their passports revoked without due process, resulting in them being separated from their children, fired from jobs, placed under suspicion, singled out for treatment not inflicted on other immigrant groups, and told to remain silent about their ordeals, among other travails.
The report to the State Department paints a similarly harrowing picture of the treatment of Yemeni-Americans who had passports confiscated. Submitted yesterday by Asian Americans Advancing Justice — Asian Law Caucus and CLEAR, a free legal clinic at the City University of New York School of Law, it details instances of coercive interrogations and of U.S. citizens stranded in Yemen and separated from family members for years. Although many were eventually allowed to fly back to the U.S., they continue to face various restrictions on their travel.
The report says the Yemeni-Americans were coerced into signing confessions that fraudulent names were used in their naturalization documents or the naturalization documents of their fathers. In some cases, a translator was not present and the people did not understand what they were signing.
[Harrowing Treatment of Yemeni-Americans Demands Government Probe, Groups Say, by Smitha Khorana, The Intercept, January 27, 2016]
One email was an “urgent inquiry” from a U.S. citizen unable to get his prescriptions filled, who typed out a list of medicines for diabetes and high blood pressure that are not available in Yemen. “Please note that I must be back to the USA for a sooner medical treatment,” he writes.And this one from a supposed law school student:
Another email was from a man eager to go back to California and finish law school: “I very disappointed because the US my country where I lived since I was 10 years old. I had been a US citizen for 17 years and I feel that the US is a part of me.”Even more telling, this unnamed Yemeni is complaining they are trapped in the United States:
The most egregious case is that of a 7-year-old girl, an American citizen whose passport was confiscated along with her father’s at the embassy in Sanaa when the girl was 5. Returning to the U.S. on one-time travel documents, she had expected to come for a short visit, but is now stuck here. The girl has not seen her mother for almost two years.This suggests they were living in Yemen, and that they simply wanted the convenience of an American passport rather than being “American.” The reporter argues that all the individuals traveled to Yemen for a brief visit with relatives and had no plan to stay for extended periods of time, but there’s circumstantial evidence suggesting they simply lived in Yemen.
Why else would they be renewing their passport at the American embassy?
Who goes on a short foreign trip with a passport about to expire?
In fact, Yemen requires that foreign visitors have a six-month validity beyond the date they expect to leave Yemen when applying to enter.
Much is also made of supposed false confessions made during “coercive” interrogations with American officials, with some people supposedly not knowing what they are signing. But why would a naturalized American citizen need a translator? How can there be a coercive interrogation if the interrogator and the subject cannot communicate? And who defines a “coercive” interrogation?
For example, this writer knows the Diplomatic Security Service uses the John E. Reid technique of interviewing suspects. It isn’t “coercive,” but effective, which is probably the real reason defense attorneys and the Treason Bar hate it so much.
Besides, how do we know if anything these supposed victims say is true? “Because of fear and pending legislation,” most of the stories here come from lawyers who are (obviously) shilling for their clients.
Rather than backing down, if the Obama Regime wants to actually stop immigration fraud, it needs to involve more law enforcement institutions. It shouldn’t just be the Department of State, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services investigating these cases.
Otherwise, it’s essentially an admission that President Obama wants immigration fraud to continue, and that this is just part of his plan to elect a new people.
The blogger Federale (Email him) is a 4th generation Californian and a veteran of federal law enforcement, including service in the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Department of Homeland Security, and other federal law enforcement agencies.
Federale's opinions do not represent those of the Department of Homeland Security or the federal government, and are an exercise of rights protected by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.