NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


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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