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Cablegate: Fraud Summary - (Guadalajara)

DE RUEHGD #0379/01 2752039
R 022039Z OCT 09

2009-10-02 20:39:00
Consulate Guadalajara

DE RUEHGD #0379/01 2752039
R 022039Z OCT 09




E.O. 12958: N/A

GUADALAJAR 00000379 001.2 OF 004

Country Conditions

1. (U) Guadalajara is the second largest city in Mexico and the
consular district covers the Mexican states of Jalisco, Colima,
Nayarit, and Aguascalientes although both post accepts
applicants from throughout Mexico. Conditions within the
consular district are similar to other parts of Mexico; the
continuing Mexican economic crisis and high unemployment rates
coupled with the dramatic increase in narco-related violence
over the last year have not diminished the desire of many
Mexicans to live, work, or study in the United States. These
conditions have also resulted in a significant increase in
confirmed visa fraud at post. While demand for nonimmigrant
visas has increased 7% over the prior reporting period,
confirmed fraudulent applications have increased 137%. Post had
a significant increase in Passport and Consular Report of Birth
Abroad applicants as result of WHTI implementation, however,
confirmed ACS fraud has remained relatively constant over the
reporting period. Post has not seen increased instances of SBA
related fraud as reported by Consulates closer to the border

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NIV Fraud

2. (U) Post adjudicated 81,513 NIV applications during this
reporting period. 59,106 applications were approved and 22,407
applications were refused for an overall refusal rate of 27.5%.
Of these refusals, 21,258 were in the B1/B2/BBBCV category.
During this period, 422 NIV cases were referred to FPU, with 247
confirmed fraudulent and 16 pending further action.
Additionally, 673 applicants were found ineligible under 6C1 of
the INA, with the difference between FPU confirmed fraud and
actual application of 6C1 attributable to false identities
discovered through IDENT, conversion of quasi-P6C1 CLASS hits
when subjects newly apply for visas, and reapplication of prior
6C1 ineligibilities for purposes of waiver processing.

3. (U) Guadalajara continues to experience high levels of NIV
fraud that primarily consists of mala fide NIV applicants who
present altered, false, or counterfeit documents intended to
inflate their employment status or education. Many of these
fraudulent applicants are found ineligible under 214b of the INA
by the adjudicating line officers, as the fraud is easily
detected through normal interviewing techniques and electronic
FPU resources available in the interviewing windows.

4. (U) Falsified documents are readily available from a variety
of sources, including various known mala fide visa facilitators
just steps from the Consulate. These facilitators offer a range
of products, from false bank documents to false education
credentials, from a cost of $15 USD to upwards of $1,500 USD.
FPU prescreening, RSO Surveillance Detection, and trained line
officers work together to identify those who trade in documents
and carry them to their visa applications.

5. (U) FPU performs vigorous pre-screening of H2B, H2A, and P-1
applicants and groups applying for visas to participate in
sporting, musical, or cultural exchanges in the US on B1/B2
visas, providing NIV officers with necessary information to
assist them in the adjudication process. The FPM regularly
conducts LexisNexis checks on unknown business petitioners and
FPU uses various internet tools such as Facebook, YouTube,
MySpace, and Google to verify group member lists, tour dates,
and claims of notoriety.

6. (U) The H2B and H2A categories are generally low fraud
categories at Post. Individual beneficiaries often attempt to
conceal prior immigration violations and criminal histories, but
generally applicants are qualified and intend to undertake the
work petitioned. However, Post has seen an increase in
applicants who wish to work for employers for whom they have
previously worked without legal status; in some instances
coached to conceal their prior work history by the petitioner or
local agent. Post has discovered several mala fide petitioners
and/or local agents who have charged applicants fees to become
beneficiaries; sometimes when petitions had no available slots
or when there was no approved petition. We continue our
outreach efforts with local press and NGOs to educate workers on
their rights and prohibition of the payment of any fees.

7. (U) The P-1 category continues to be a significantly high
fraud category. FPU investigators routinely uncover phantom
band members added by local agents or band owners/managers who
have no clear role in the groups and/or are unknown to
long-established group members. FPU works to unravel fraudulent
"ringer" additions and to identify the source, fellow members or
unscrupulous agents, to ensure bona-fide group members can
travel to perform and fraud perpetrators are held accountable.

GUADALAJAR 00000379 002.2 OF 004

In addition, Post has continued to see the trend of prior P-1
visa holders that use their visa to undertake unauthorized
employment to avoid scrutiny at the Port of Entries for extended
back-to-back six months stays in the United States that a
tourist visa holder is likely to experience.

8. (U) Another significant NIV fraud category is encountered
among groups applying for tourism visas to participate in
sporting, musical, or cultural exchanges in the US. These
include cultural exchanges (artists, dancers and musicians)
coordinated between local municipalities and sister
cities/US-based Mexican social organizations, sports teams (both
professional and amateur), invited to participate in tournaments
in the US, and arts and crafts vendors invited to display and
sell their wares at various cultural fairs. Many times the
exchanges and events are bona-fide, but individual applicants
may exaggerate their positions within organizations and/or
employment status and conceal details on how the trips are to be
financed. FPU routinely trains officers in the application of
the requirement under 9 FAM 41.31 N11.4 for payment of expenses
of professional entertainers and 9 FAM 41.31 N13.7 for amateur

9. (U) Finally, Post has experienced a marked increase in the
number of unqualified/fraudulent TN/TD visa applicants,
specifically in the Management Consultant and Scientific
Technician categories, and E visa applicants with non-qualifying
business activity. Post's denial rate for TN/TD has increased
over 58% from the prior reporting period to 19%. For E visa
applicants, the denial rate has increased over 78% from the
prior reporting period to 31%. FPU is working with NIV to
increase prescreening and analysis in these visa categories.

IV Fraud

10. (U) Post does not process immigrant visas.

DV Fraud

11. (U) Post does not process Diversity Visas.

ACS and U.S. Passport Fraud;

12. (U) Post accepted 4,334 new passport book/card applications
during this reporting period. During this same period, 4,090
passport books/cards were issued and 305 were denied. Of these
applications, 143 cases were referred to FPU, with 16 confirmed
fraudulent and 54 pending further action.

13. (U) Post accepted 448 Consular Records of Birth Abroad
during this reporting period. During this same period, 412
CRBAs were issued and 157 were denied. Of these applications,
26 cases were referred to FPU, with five confirmed fraudulent
and 15 pending further action.

14. (U) FPU works closely with ACS to train officers and local
staff on document fraud and to verify civil documents with local
authorities. FPU devotes a majority of its officer time to
working ACS cases, assisting in this important work program for
the Consulate and Mission Mexico. Although actual confirmed
fraud rates are relatively low, many cases referred to FPU are
eventually denied under 7 FAM 1381 D (3) as applicants fail to
respond to requests for additional information and/or documents
within ninety days.

15. (U) The majority of referred passport cases are for fraud
hits related to previously abandoned domestic applications,
often for multiple abandoned prior cases with more than one
person claiming to be the true owner of the identity, but with
little secondary proof of either identity or birth in the United
States. Home births and births registered by midwife also
represent a significant portion of ACS referrals. The FPM
investigates all cases with existing fraud hits, all cases that
involve non-institutional births (home births, mid-wife
deliveries) and all cases that are otherwise referred by ACS

16. (U) FPU continues to detect CRBA fraud, with AMCITs who are
not the birth parents attempting to obtain CRBAs for children
they are attempting to "adopt." As in the prior reporting
period, one such case resulted in the arrest of the supposed
parents and the pediatrician that sold them the baby. FPU also
has investigated several cases of falsified physical presence
documentation for the transmittal of citizenship.

17. (U) Additional confirmed fraud includes falsified parental
consent, narco-traffickers with multiple passport identities, US
mail fraud, selling of passports, falsified adoptions, false

GUADALAJAR 00000379 003.2 OF 004

births, etc. in greater numbers than prior years, likely due to
passport requirements for travelers under WHTI. One new trend
post noted is for parents to apply for a passport domestically
when their child is an infant, claim that the passport was lost
in the mail and reapply at post for a different child. It is
quite difficult to identify these infant/toddler imposters,
especially when the PIERS record is of a very young baby and the
parents of the real holder of the identity are present and have
excellent secondary proof of birth and other official documents.

Adoption Fraud

18. (U) Post does not process adoption cases.

Use of DNA Testing

19. (U) Post utilizes DNA testing in ACS cases where doubt
exists regarding paternity. In some cases, DNA analysis is the
only viable means of confirming the paternal relationships that
are claimed. Post suggests that DNA testing could be used to
resolve outstanding uncertainties on such cases but makes it
known that DNA tests are not required. During the reporting
period, FPU did not refer any applicants for DNA testing.

Asylum and Other DHS Benefit Fraud

20. (U) Post continues to provide support to DHS offices located
in the U.S. by conducting field investigations and verifying
casework information and other documentation.

Alien Smuggling, Trafficking, Organized Crime, Terrorist Travel

21. (U) Mexico is a major transit country to the U.S. for both
Mexican citizens and third country nationals attempting to enter
illegally and for narcotics trafficking. The P-1 visa category
remains vulnerable to alien smugglers planting non-qualified
applicants on petitions for a fee.

DS Criminal Fraud Investigations

22. (U) The FPU enjoys a strong relationship with RSO and the
recently arrived ARSO/I. The ARSO/I program, which includes the
DS Special Agent and the H/L FSNI, has quickly integrated their
work with that of FPU and continue to strengthen Post's ties
with local law enforcement. Since the arrival of the ARSO/I at
post, more arrests have been made including an H case and a
document vendor. The ARSO/I program has also been involved with
several successful internal investigations and has assisted with
sensitive American Citizen Services child endangerment cases,
which have resulted in fugitive returns and arrests in the
United States. The ARSO/I program continues to strengthen
post's fraud prevention profile and has committed to provide
Fraudulent Document Training, in coordination with Diplomatic
Security Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program, to both the FPU
staff and to local contacts.

Host Country Passport, Identity Documents, and Civil Registry

23. (U) The Mexican passport contains a large number of security
features, such as microprint, digital photographs, ghost
photographs, 3D barcodes, latent imaging, fingerprint image, UV
features, etc. The Mexican passport security features have been
effective against counterfeiting and photo substitution. FPU has
detected a handful of cases of NIV applicants with genuine
Mexican passports under false or cloned identities.

24. (U) Impostors obtain the genuine passports with false
identities by presenting false IDs (false birth certificates
and/or false voter's cards) at the passport offices of the SRE
(Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs). Other means of
fraudulently obtaining Mexican passports include cloning an
identity using a genuine birth certificate and/or a voter card.
Post has observed that it is easy to obtain a genuine birth
certificate with fraudulent information from many civil
registries. Corruption among the staff in civil registries in
small towns is common and sometimes civil registry employees
work with document vendors. This situation is further
complicated as some states in our consular district now utilize
the equivalent of an ATM-type machine to issue certified (i.e.
already signed) birth certificates provided one has the name,
date, and place of birth. Again, IDENT and Facial Recognition
are useful tools in helping to combat this type of identity
fraud. Post recommends the adoption of Facial Recognition
technology to passport applications as soon as possible so that
we have another effective tool in our fraud toolbox. Post does
use "FR on Demand," but it is technologically unwieldy and only
compares faces against the terrorist screening list and visa
records and not against prior passport applications.

GUADALAJAR 00000379 004.2 OF 004

Cooperation with Host Government Authorities

25. (U) Post continues to enjoy a high degree of cooperation
with host government agencies and individual government
officials, particularly with the Mexican Social Security
Institute (IMSS) and the State Civil Registry Offices for
Jalisco, Colima, Aguascalientes and Nayarit. Our host
government contacts continue to assist in detecting fraud at all
levels. Our contacts within IMSS and the Civil Registry Offices
provide accurate and timely information needed to verify
employment and income levels and birth, marriage, death and
divorce records. To date, Post has had limited success with
local prosecutors and police in arresting and prosecuting
document vendors for false private documentation such as
employment letters and bank statements. Our ARSO-I has begun
laying the groundwork in the state of Jalisco for greater
attention from local authorities in the prosecution of false
document vendors who sell purported official government
documents such as birth certificates and official government
education documents known as cedulas.

Areas of Particular Concern

26. (U) Post has seen a recent trend of well organized "fraud
buses" from out of consular district, primarily from the states
of Durango and Coahuila, where between 10% and 15% of the
applicants have complete false document packages. These buses
typically take between 10 and 12 hours to reach Guadalajara from
these out-of-district areas and Post is not sure why they are
choosing to come to Guadalajara over other posts which are much
closer such as Monterrey or Nuevo Laredo. Many applicants state
that it is because Guadalajara does not have an Applicant
Service Center which requires a two day process for visa
applications and others mention it is easier to get an
appointment in Guadalajara than other posts even though as of 1
Oct 2009 we have a current 18 day backlog versus 3 days at both
Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo. Post continues to research this

Staffing and Training

27. (U) The Fraud Prevention Unit (FPU) consists of a full-time
FS-03 Fraud Prevention Manager (FPM), a FSN-9 Senior Fraud
Prevention Assistant and three FSN-8 Fraud Prevention
Assistants. The Fraud Prevention Manager currently divides time
between investigating ACS and NIV fraud cases, with the bulk of
the officer's time spent on PPT and CRBA fraud cases. The LES
staff supports both ACS and NIV, with two positions supporting
NIV, one supporting ACS and the other supporting all other
agency and FPM investigative requests. The staff rotates
monthly through these various positions.

28. (U) Fraudulent documentation and imposter training courses
are provided for airport and airline personnel, immigration and
public security officials in Guadalajara and throughout the
consular district. However, due to the deteriorating security
situation, post RSO has prohibited all official overnight travel
within the Consular district with the exception of Puerto
Vallarta as well as travel at night, which has greatly limited
FPU's ability to do training and outreach through our very large
geographic area of responsibility. Despite the constraints,
during the reporting period, the unit provided onsite training
to civil registry, SRE (Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs),
and airline personnel in Puerto Vallarta and Aguascalientes.

29. (U) FPU participates in monthly in-house consular training
days, providing training to NIV and ACS staff. FPU offers a
variety of courses focusing on specific industries/businesses,
detecting false documents and imposters, and highlighting fraud
indicators that are commonly seen at post. In addition, FPU
offers a "Fraud City Tour" to new NIV officers designed to
introduce them to the various neighborhoods/areas of Guadalajara
and to the types and scales of businesses/business activities
found in these neighborhoods.

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