This story has a bit of everything. Eamonn Daniel Higgins may be a native of California, or he may not, but in spite of having a face like a map of County Cork, as they used to say, he managed to convince various testing boards that he was, for purposes of taking the English test, any of Mohammed Alnuaim, Abdullah Alhogail, Khalid Almenaibi, Saeed Alfalahi, Ibrahim Almansoori and Mohamed Almehairi.
Also, he had a young blonde accomplice who was apparently "allowed to take an exam using a fake ID that paired her photo with a man's Arabic name." I suppose if the testers had objected to either of them, it would have been racial profiling.
By GILLIAN FLACCUS (AP) – 4 hours ago
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California man was charged Monday with operating a ring of illegal test-takers who helped dozens of Middle Eastern nationals obtain U.S. student visas by passing various proficiency and college-placement exams for them, federal authorities said.
The allegations reveal a potentially dangerous security breach in the country's student visa system and underscored the vulnerability of a tracking process that relies on schools and testing centers to verify the identities of people taking the mandated exams.
Shortly after 9/11, Dr. Norm Matloff pointed out that one of the groups that would fight against any attempt at border security was the educational lobby. They make money from foreign students. They aren't checking carefully to make sure their students are legal, they're checking to see if their credit is good.
Eamonn Daniel Higgins, 46, of Laguna Niguel made an appearance in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana on one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud as federal immigration agents arrested 16 of his suspected clients who remained in Southern California. A judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
In one case, a blond woman working for Higgins was allowed to take an exam using a fake ID that paired her photo with a man's Arabic name, said Debra Parker, acting deputy special agent in charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Los Angeles.[More]