The Sun Sentinel reported this past October on Yvette Rossy Reyes, a 24-year-old sentenced to three years in federal prison after admitting her part in a immigration fraud run out of a Plantation strip mall. Ms. Reyes posed as the office manager of a phony Christian organization which induced over a thousand undocumented immigrants to give them large cash "donations" in return for filing fraudulent religious worker immigration petitions. Ms. Reyes was the fourth person convicted in what was a $4 million immigration scam.
In January U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) reported on an Idaho couple who were convicted of illegally marrying U.S. citizens for the sole purpose of gaining citizenship. Once they became citizens, they divorced their spouses and married each other. The couple, originally from Romania, were sentenced to two years probation, fined $1,000 and had their citizenship revoked.
This past November, ICE announced the indictment of a Los Angeles employment agency owner for immigration fraud involving filing phony H-1B work visa petitions for foreign workers who were misled to believe they were being hired by prominent hospitals and non-profit organizations.
These are just a few of the almost weekly reports of immigration fraud. Unfortunately, the victims of the fraud are often vulnerable aliens desperately seeking to find a way to remain and work in the United States. Many foreigners have language and cultural barriers that too often make them easy prey to be taken in by sophisticated illegal schemes. They also fear reporting the fraud, so as not to affect their own immigration status or get deported.
USCIS properly urges anyone who becomes aware of immigration fraud to report it and file a complaint. It will not negatively affect your petition. As with anything, if something is too good to be true it probably isn’t. It is always best to consult with a licensed experienced immigration attorney who can protect their clients from becoming victims of immigration fraud.