How bad is the fraud involved with asylum claims?

‘Asylumist’ blogger Jason Dzubow

Really bad! reports immigration lawyer and blogger Jason Dzubow (resume’ below)*.

After Boston we all became more concerned with how easy it is to defraud the US government with a phoney asylum claim.  The Tsarnaev family, with their travels back and forth to the country of their persecution, have become the poster family for asylum fraud.  Someone asked me just yesterday if I thought Mom and Dad were having welfare checks deposited in a Boston bank and transmitted to Russia.  That could be happening, I said!

Although this blog post by Dzubow is from last December, I hadn’t seen it until recently.  By the way, Dzubow seems like a fairly level-headed lawyer who works on behalf of immigrants.

LOL! And, here he had some advice for us!  Why does he join others in expressing frustration about RRW NOT being “neutral”?  Heck, the mainstream media is never neutral, rarely balanced, with its glowing gooey stories about refugees seeing their first snow; so, as I see it, I need to balance them!  That is my job!  Indeed, if the mainstream media wasn’t so biased and did some serious investigative work, there would be no need for bloggers.

I’ve digressed.

Back to Dzubow’s amazing admission in a post entitled, ‘Lawyers gone wild’ (emphasis mine):

The New York Times reports a major bust involving lawyers, paralegals, and even a church official who were allegedly helping Chinese nationals file fraudulent asylum cases. [There have been many news accounts recently about the large number of Chinese illegally coming across our borders. If caught, they ask for asylum.–ed]

The Times reports that 26 people, including six attorneys, were arrested in Chinatown and Flushing, Queens. They are accused of an elaborate scheme to help Chinese immigrants invent stories about persecution and dupe immigration officials into granting asylum. Some false stories describe persecution based on China’s one-child policy, including forced abortion. Others set forth claims based on religious persecution. Apparently, the asylum seekers aroused suspicion when Asylum Officers noticed that many of the stories were very similar.

In all, the conspiracy involves 10 law firms and as many as 1,900 asylum seekers. The conspiracy also allegedly involved at least one church official, Liying (pronounced “Lying”?) Lin. According to the Times, Ms. Lin, 29, trained asylum seekers in the basic tenets of Christianity. According to the indictment against her, Ms. Lin also helped her “clients” trick the immigration authorities and “trained asylum applicants on what questions about religious belief would be asked during an asylum interview and coached the clients on how to answer.”

This is not the first time that I’ve written about Lawyers and paralegals helping to create false cases, but it is the largest such bust that I’ve heard about.  One question is, how pervasive is this type of fraud?

A professor of Asian-American studies and urban affairs at Hunter College in New York, Peter Kwong, told the Times that he believes most Chinese asylum cases in New York City were fraudulent. “This is an industry,” said Prof. Kwong, who has written widely on Chinese immigration. “Everybody knows about it, and these violations go on all the time.” While I would not be surprised if Prof. Kwong is correct, I would also not be surprised if he is over-estimating the number of fraudulent asylum claims.

The reason for the difficulty is that there is no data on false asylum claims.


Although it is difficult to know the magnitude of the problem, it’s pretty clear that many asylum cases are fraudulent. The situation in New York is only the most recent illustration of the problem. So what’s the solution? I strongly believe that the government can do more to stop these fraudsters. I have seen enough of their work to know that they are not so smart and often not very careful (witness the Chinese case in NY where Asylum Officers detected the fraud when they noticed that many of the applications were suspiciously similar–in other words, the lawyers were too lazy and too cocky to bother making up unique stories for each asylum seeker).

Dzubow goes on to suggest that the feds send in “undercover clients” to smoke out these crooked lawyers.  Great idea! Start with whoever did the legal work for the Tsarnaevs.

There is more, visit the whole post.  And, keep this story in mind when you read an incredible first hand account of refugee fraud which I will post later today, or in the morning.

*Jason Dzubow’s practice focuses on immigration law, asylum, and appellate litigation. Mr. Dzubow is admitted to practice law in the federal and state courts of Washington, DC and Maryland, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fourth, Eleventh, and DC Circuits, all Immigration Courts in the United States, and the Board of Immigration Appeals. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Capital Area Immigrant Rights (CAIR) Coalition. In June 2009, CAIR Coalition honored Mr. Dzubow for his Outstanding Commitment to Defending the Rights and Dignity of Detained Immigrants.In December 2011, Washingtonian magazine recognized Dr. Dzubow as one of the best immigration lawyers in the Washington, DC area; in March 2011, he was listed as one of the top 25 legal minds in the country in the area of immigration law. Mr. Dzubow is also an adjunct professor of law at George Mason University in Virginia.

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