“It is important to hold accountable those who would seek to defraud such programs, particularly when the crimes compromise our national security and public safety, when they impose such high costs on taxpayers…”
(Michael R. Sherwin, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia)
Yes, you heard that right. The Special Immigrant Visa Program for Iraqis (and their family members) who have supposedly helped us in Iraq was suspended as a result of that fraud bust we reported a few days ago. I had missed this part of the story.
For inquiring minds, I have written many posts over the year about Iraqi Special Immigrant Visas.
From the Washington Times:
Feds stop special Iraqi refugee program after troubling DHS security breach
The State Department announced an emergency 90-day halt on admitting refugees from Iraq who helped the U.S. war effort after authorities revealed Friday that the program had been breached in a brazen conspiracy to steal refugees’ files.
Acting Secretary of State Daniel B. Smith said they need to study the Iraqi program’s “vulnerabilities,” but insisted the broader refugee program is still safe.
His announcement came just hours after federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment charging three people, including two Homeland Security employees accused of selling secret files on refugee applicants.
Prosecutors said the secret information, including applicants’ employment records, security checks, military history and their very personal accounts of persecution, were all able to be breached by the employees.
Just so you know, more Afghans are admitted in this special program that came into existence as a hidden rider by Senator Ted Kennedy to a Defense authorization bill. The program did not go through regular order in Congress.
The three-year-old chart below does not show that tens of thousands more dependents came along with the SIV applicant.