FRAUD FOUND IN RELIGIOUS WORKER VISAS
April 20, 2007
Homeland Security Department officials say they have uncovered rampant fraud in a religious worker visa program that allows thousands of foreigners into the United States each year, says USA Today.
- The visa program was established in 1990 to allow churches, synagogues and mosques struggling to fill jobs to hire qualified foreigners.
- But last year, a fraud-detection unit in the Homeland Security Department found that 33 percent of the visas that investigators examined were granted based on fraudulent information.
As a result, Homeland Security has proposed new rules, which would allow inspectors and Customs officials to:
- Inspect religious organizations sponsoring applicants to make sure they are legitimate.
- Require more proof from applicants that they are trained and qualified for the job they're being hired to do.
- Review W-2 forms or other proof of employment after one year on the job before extending the visa.
Source: Mimi Hall, "Fraud found in religious worker visas," USA Today, April 20, 2007.
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