How do I Report Immigration Fraud?

Matthew Brodsky

If you become aware that immigration fraud has occurred, you can report it, ensuring that proper laws are followed and enforced. You can assist the authorities by collecting all of the relevant information and contacting appropriate authorities.

Immigration fraud occurs when an immigrant enters into a sham marriage with a citizen.
Immigration fraud occurs when an immigrant enters into a sham marriage with a citizen.

Immigration fraud occurs when people attempt to gain the benefits of immigration by making false statements to immigration authorities. This occurs most often in the immigration application, although they can also be made during a subsequent interview or hearing. Employers sometimes commit immigration fraud if they hire an illegal immigrant or make false statements to induce immigration authorities to issue a visa to a potential employee.

It is also fraud when an immigrant enters into a sham marriage with a citizen. Sometimes the spouse is unaware of the fraudulent intent and enters into the marriage with innocent expectations. These marriages often end badly with the immigrant-spouse abandoning the marriage once he or she has received the desired immigration status. Sometimes, however, the spouse is in collusion with the immigrant out of sympathy with the immigrant's desire to immigrate. Money may also be a motive.

Whatever form the fraud takes, the first step to report immigration fraud is to contact the appropriate authorities. In the US, immigration control is a function of the federal government, and fraud should be reported to one of the relevant federal agencies. The three agencies directly involved are the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The Department of Homeland Security is also involved in immigration enforcement. In Canada, you can report immigration fraud to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

You can report immigration fraud anonymously if you do not wish to identify yourself. When you report immigration fraud, be prepared to give the name and location of the person committing the fraud and have available the relevant information that shows that fraud has been committed.

Although immigration fraud is usually an attempt to defraud the government, some kinds of fraud result in the immigrant being victimized. This might happen if an immigration consultant or attorney makes claims about his services that he cannot actually deliver or if they charge excessive fees. Immigration fraud can also occur when these consultants or attorneys actually turn the immigrant in to authorities instead of providing that promised help. This kind of fraud should be reported at the local level.

Report criminal matters to the local police or sheriff’s office. For civil violations, money damages can be sought through the courts through a private attorney. Misconduct by lawyers can be reported to the state bar association.

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