Fraud and misrepresentation are two issues that can compromise any immigration benefit, including asylum petitions. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) constantly checks for fraud in the petitions they review, the interviews they conduct, and the documents they evaluate. A fraudulent asylum petition could result in an immediate order for deportation handled by a judge at the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), and the applicant will be further denied the right to apply for any other immigration benefit. USCIS case managers check for signs of fraud during interviews as well as when they review Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal. The San Diego immigration lawyers at KS Visa Law have put together a list of 10 situations that may result in an expanded investigation into possible fraud.
1. Previous Applications
If the asylum applicant has previously submitted a Form I-589 under a different name or with a statement that is significantly different, case managers may suspect fraud.
2. Lengthy Permanence in the U.S.
People seeking asylum are expected to submit their applications upon arrival or as soon as possible. If the applicant has been in the U.S. for a long time without a valid reason for not submitting a Form I-589, this may be considered fraudulent.
3. Boilerplate Written Statements
Asylum seekers are expected to write the truthful circumstances of their case to the best of their abilities. While it is acceptable to gain inspiration from previously written statements, there is no template for this aspect of the application process. When case managers run into boilerplate statements, they become suspicious about the applicant’s intentions.
4. Criminal History
Although a criminal history will not necessarily be considered grounds for rejecting asylum, applicants must disclose every arrest and conviction. If the fingerprints report shows undisclosed crimes, the case file may be flagged as fraud.
USCIS case managers and EOIR judges will likely expand their fraud investigations if the applicant proves to be unnecessarily evasive during interviews.
6. Suspicious Eye Contact
The adage about eye contact and telling the truth is sometimes applied by USCIS case managers. Looking away when confronted with difficult questions may be construed as lying. Unnaturally direct and prolonged eye contact during the entire interview may also suggest a fabrication.
Being granted asylum is a very significant moment in a person’s life. An applicant who seems to not be interested in the interview may raise red flags, and the same goes for someone who arrives too late without justification.
8. Bad Recollection and Contradictory Claims
Asylum applicants who are not able to remember key aspects of their applications or written statements may trigger a fraud investigation. In the case of political asylum applications, contradictory oral statements about ideology may raise suspicions.
9. Cheat Sheets
Immigrants who are being unjustly persecuted in their country of origin are expected to be able to tell their life story and explain their situation by heart. Those who arrive at their interviews with a cheat sheet will raise doubts.
USCIS case managers are trained to recognize the natural concern and apprehension asylum applicants feel, and they can tell it apart from the nervousness that usually accompanies those who are deceitful.
If you’d like to learn more about asylum applications or other aspects of immigration, reach out to the experienced immigration lawyers at KS Visa Law. Whether you need information on work visas or family immigration services in San Diego, we can help. Call 858-874-0711 today to learn more.