Search

 

Cablegate: H1b Fraud Trend- Iraqis Claiming to Be Accountants Of

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 AMMAN 009956

SIPDIS

INFO AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
AMEMBASSY CAIRO
AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
AMEMBASSY RIYADH
AMEMBASSY KUWAIT
AMEMBASSY ATHENS
NVC PORTSMOUTH NH
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

DEPT FOR CA/FPP
ATHENS FOR DHS
DEPT ALSO PASS TO KCC
POSTS FOR FRAUD PREVENTION MANAGERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KFRD CVIS CPAS CMGT ASEC JO IZ
SUBJECT: H1B FRAUD TREND- IRAQIS CLAIMING TO BE ACCOUNTANTS OF
CHALDEAN ORIGIN

1. Summary: In the past ten months, the Consular Section in Amman
received a large number of apparently fraudulent H1B cases for Iraqi
nationals claiming to be of Chaldean origin and intending to work in
the U.S. as accountants or financial analysts. These cases
resemble one another closely due to the attorneys used in the U.S.,
the immigration office used in Amman, and the claimed background of
the applicants. The limitations on verifying documents from Iraq
continue to pose a challenge to Post's anti-fraud efforts.
End summary.

Getting Around 214b
===============

2. Since February 2005, the Consular Section has returned thirteen
H1B temporary worker petitions to the Kentucky Consular Center and
the Department of Homeland Security with forty-one applicants.
These thirteen petitions were for Iraqi nationals who
claimed they were qualified to serve as accountants or financial
analysts in the U.S. However, in none of the cases were the
applicants able to discuss principles of accounting nor were they
able to speak English to a degree sufficient to hold a simple
conversation, let alone work in a field requiring the ability to
read and understand complex laws and regulations. Post is
concerned that the H1B visa is being sought in order to obtain
entry and thence immigration status in the U.S. via a
visa category that does not permit refusal under the "intending
immigrant" Section 214b of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Detection Points
=============

3. In order to combat these apparently fraudulent cases, Post has
implemented a full review of the documents submitted by the
petitioner in the U.S., and introduced detailed
questioning into the interview process. With the number of cases
growing, Post has noted the following similarities among the
applicants:
- They are all Iraqis claiming to be Chaldeans;
- They claim to hold bachelors degrees in accounting but cannot
demonstrate basic written or oral understanding of their field;
- Their education credentials are evaluated by specialty
U.S.-based credential evaluation services whose referenced
materials do not include the changes in education credentials
made after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003;
- The applicant's U.S. relative found the job by advertising on
their behalf in the U.S., often in a church bulletin;
- The non-immigrant visa application is completed locally by the
same immigration office, Nahda Office of Amman, Jordan; and
- The written answers to the questionnaires match, in some cases
word for word, those given by other applicants, including answers
that are incorrect (Note: A list of attorneys associated with the
petition filings is provided at paragraph 8. End note.) .

4. As more applicants have come to the Embassy, Post has had to
adapt in order to combat coaching of applicants by the immigration
office or others. At interview, the interviewing officer has
alternated fresh questions into the sequence of questions. When
this is done, the applicant fails to answer, however subsequent
applicants will have scripted answers to these same questions.

Not a Slam Dunk
=============

5. The best methods of detecting fraud would be to have a file of
correct exemplar documents or to approach the issuing offices to
verify the information. This is not possible on most submitted
documents that originate from Iraq. Therefore, straightforward
document verification with the issuing authorities is not available,
a situation that is to the benefit of fraudulent applicants.
Post is collecting recently issued Iraqi education documents in a
scanned format from applicants with bona fide applications,
but does not have a sufficient number at this time to make effective
comparisons.

Broader Trends
============

6. The use of the H1B visa class by Iraqis claiming to be Chaldeans
to leave Iraq is mirrored in a number of other visa types.
For example, the Immigrant Visa Unit has noted a large percentage
of the I-130 petitions accepted both at Post and in the U.S. as
originating from American Chaldeans entering into arranged marriages
with Iraqi Chaldeans. At rough glance, this appears to be
predictable pattern of follow-on immigration, given the small
nature of the community and the fact that the Chaldean
group originated from Iraq; however, the number and pace of
applications are greater than what Post would assume is a natural
progression. The same unit also estimates that half of the asylee
following-to-join cases from Iraq are of Chaldean origin.
In the Non-Immigrant Visa Unit, many of the Iraqi applicants for
tourist/business visas claim to be of Chaldean background,
as evidenced by church birth certificates often presented in
conjunction with Iraqi national identification papers to
demonstrate date of birth or relationship. These applicants rarely
have travel outside of Iraq, except for purposes of the visa
application, and in most cases do not overcome the intending
immigrant section of law. These trends are for the most part
anecdotal, as consular systems do not capture this information in
a reportable form.

Comment
========

7. Post is a primary regional NIV and IV processing post for
Iraqis, but of course is not in Iraq. Embassy Baghdad may be best
placed to give an on-the-ground judgment as to whether Iraqi
Chaldeans are leaving Iraq en masse, or whether our
increased numbers in Amman reflect a more focused effort by
specific families or individuals. In either case,
while most Iraqis who claim to be of Chaldean origin seeking
immigrant visas are qualified for that status, those applying for
non-immigrant visas, particularly H-1B's, are increasingly not
credible and unqualified. Our assessment is that many
in this community lacking the necessary family ties to qualify
for an immigrant visa are turning to organized efforts in the
U.S. based on church ties and religious solidarity to obtain
non-immigrant visas they are not qualified for. Post will
continue to adapt its interviewing techniques and resources in
order to address the unique challenges of adjudicating visas
for Iraqis outside of Iraq, with a view to continued
facilitation of legitimate immigrant and non-immigrant travel,
and deterrence of illegitimate travel.
However, as applicants and facilitators learn through trial and
error, fraudulent cases will become increasingly difficult for
Post to detect. Increased vigilance by petition- approving
agencies and offices in the U.S. would assist in interdicting
this flow of unqualified visa applicants. End comment.

List of Attorneys
=============

8. Post has dealt with the following attorneys assisting the
petitioners in H1B filings:

Hoare & Lyda
28545 Orchard Lake Rd, Suite B
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
Tel 248-553-0100

Garmo & Associates, P.C.
28230 Orchard Lake Rd, Suite 201
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
Tel 248-626-0050
Shallal & Shallal, PLLC
21711 West Ten Mile Road, Suite 237
Southfield, MI 48075
Tel 248-223-9830

Maria C Salud Law Office
17200 West Ten Mile Road, Suite 202
Southfield, MI 48075
Tel 248-557-9116

Law Office of Aziz J. Asmar
124 W Main Street, Suite 230
El Cajon, CA 92020
Tel 619-440-4441

Maulkin, Glaser, & Bennett
18127 Brookhurst Street
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Tel 714-963-8951

HALE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Assange's Hearing: Latest Observations From Court

Despite severe restrictions on observers, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is the only NGO that has gained access to the hearing, and we’ve managed to monitor proceedings on most days. We will continue to do so whenever possible. Yesterday I was in court ... More>>

Climate Change: Record Northern Heat, Fuels Concerns Over US Wildfire Destruction

More than 78,000 acres of forest in the Sierra mountains in California has been lost due to wildfires. Photo: San Francisco Fire Department The northern hemisphere experienced its warmest August ever, the World Meteorological Organization ( WMO ... More>>

ILO: Impact On Workers Of COVID-19 Is ‘catastrophic’

COVID-19 has had a “catastrophic” impact on workers, the head of the International Labour Organization ( ILO ) said on Wednesday, with lost working hours higher than originally forecast, and equivalent to 495 million full-time jobs globally in the ... More>>

UN: WHO Warns Against Potential Ebola Spread In DR Congo And Beyond

Ebola is spreading in a western province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), raising fears that the disease could reach neighbouring Republic of Congo and even the capital, Kinshasa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. ... More>>