Thursday, June 08, 2006

U.S. officials are beefing up efforts to stop immigration fraud partly out of concern that proposals before Congress could create a boon for document forgers.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has created 10 anti-fraud task forces across the nation in addition to the existing unit in Washington, D.C. The task forces have opened 250 probes since they began work in April, says Special Agent Scott Weber, chief of identity and benefit fraud for ICE.

The rising concern over immigration fraud comes as Congress considers a plan to give many of the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants a chance to stay legally as guest workers or residents, depending on how long they have lived and worked here. A new law could increase demand for documentation among immigrants seeking to prove their length of residency.

Immigration fraud is "a problem of epidemic proportions," says ICE Assistant Secretary Julie Myers. "There's no question it will be a tremendous increase in workload."