Under The Red Cover: Congress Can Find Truth About 1986 Amnesty Fraud—And Cover-Up
November 10, 2003, 04:00 AM
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Last week I suggested a question VDARE.COM readers should put to their unfriendly local amnesty advocate: just how many illegal aliens committed fraud in the 1986 amnesty program and cheated their way to Lawful Permanent Resident status and U.S. citizenship?

The scandalous answer: Who knows?

But if anyone, especially anyone in Congress, wants to get to the bottom of past amnesty fraud once and for all—i.e. BEFORE VOTING ON ANOTHER ILLEGAL ALIEN AMNESTY—read on!

The answer lies beneath a veil of confidentiality supposedly designed to protect the 3 million illegal alien amnesty applicants from deportation while they applied for green cards under the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). Of course, the confidentiality that so nobly protects illegal alien "privacy" also enables the federal immigration bureaucracy to evade revealing how many of the 2.7 million successful applicants were given amnesty despite being suspected of fraud. [see OIG report Section III (D)(4)(a)(5) — the confidentiality provisions of IRCA –posted on VDARE.com]

So who's protecting whom?

Is the strict confidentiality surrounding the 1986 IRCA amnesty a shield to protect illegal aliens from deportation, a convenient amnesty fraud cover-up for the federal government . . . or both?

The 1986 amendments to the Immigration Act—Sections 210(b)(5) and 245A(c)(4) — put all amnesty application information in perpetual lock-down for both the Special Agricultural Worker (SAW) and legalization amnesty programs.

In the files, red covers literally separate out confidential information and protect amnesty application information from release to inquiring citizens under the Freedom of Information Act. Nevertheless, the federal government is permitted to release information contained in the amnesty files for "immigration enforcement purposes or law enforcement purposes," according  to Sections 210(b)(6)(C)(i) and 245A(c)(5)(D)(i) of the Immigration Act.

So the truth about amnesty fraud lies under those confidential red sheets in every applicant's file. According to immigration officers who actually interviewed the illegal aliens, the potential smoking gun in every amnesty file is called the Form I-696—"The Legalization / SAW Examinations Worksheet."

Under the 1986 IRCA amnesty, every legalization officer conducting interviews used the Form I-696 to make a record of the type of documents presented for the application. The officers also used the form to make a recommendation on whether to grant or deny the application, to note whether they suspected a fraudulent application, and to explain their findings.

But here's the kicker—if the officers suspected fraud during the interview, they were asked (on the Form I-696) to evaluate their "level of suspicion" on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest level.

Amazingly enough, without examining each Form I-696 one-by-one, there is probably no other way to find out whether applications suspected of fraud were really denied after all!

But it could be done.

We could find out how many of the 2.7 million IRCA amnesty winners have a Form I-696 in their files showing suspected fraud.

We could find out how many of these aliens, having gotten a Form I-696 recommending denial based on fraud, received amnesty anyway.

So why don't we?

Isn't anyone out there curious about how many "fraud level 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5" illegal aliens got amnesty, or eventually naturalized as American citizens?

Congress could find the truth about amnesty fraud simply by directing Secretario Ridge and Eduardo Aguirre, Jr. to get on with it.

Maybe it's impossible now to revoke the green cards or U.S. citizenship of suspected fraud artists (not to mention their family members brought in through family chain immigration petitioning). But it's still imperative that Congress know the magnitude of application fraud in America's last massive illegal alien amnesty experiment.

Even former Immigration Service Commissioner Doris Meissner recognized as "the commonly held view at the institution" that the 1986 illegal alien (SAW) amnesty was rife with fraud.

It's time for Congress to act.

Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus Chairman Tom Tancredo, call your office!

Juan Mann [send him email] is a lawyer and the proprietor of DeportAliens.com.