Reminder Regarding EOIR’s Fraud and Abuse Prevention Program
FALLS CHURCH, VA – As applications for relief or protection from removal rise in immigration proceedings, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) reminds the public of the role of EOIR’s Fraud and Abuse Prevention Program in safeguarding the validity of those proceedings and of the need for vigilance in combating immigration fraud.
"Application and benefit fraud in immigration proceedings undermines the overall integrity of the immigration law system, places unwarranted burdens on taxpayers, and puts public safety and national security at risk,” said Acting Director James McHenry. “Every fraudulent application further burdens a system already facing a critical backlog, and EOIR is committed, through its Fraud and Abuse Prevention Program, to identifying and addressing fraud in the immigration system."
EOIR's Fraud and Abuse Prevention Program was created as a result of a directive in 2006 by then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. By regulation, EOIR’s General Counsel has designated an anti-fraud officer to:
(i) Serve as a point of contact relating to concerns about possible fraud upon EOIR, particularly with respect to matters relating to fraudulent applications or documents affecting multiple removal proceedings, applications for relief from removal, appeals, or other proceedings before EOIR;
(ii) Coordinate with investigative authorities of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and other appropriate agencies with respect to the identification of and response to such fraud; and
(iii) Notify the EOIR disciplinary counsel and other appropriate authorities with respect to instances of fraud, misrepresentation, or abuse pertaining to an attorney or accredited representative.
Since 2006, EOIR’s Fraud and Abuse Prevention Program has handled more than 700 cases. It works closely with other agencies to investigate fraud in all forms and to refer cases for criminal prosecution if warranted. It also coordinates with EOIR’s Attorney Discipline Program to seek discipline of attorneys or accredited representatives who commit, enable, or induce fraud.
It provides extensive training to EOIR personnel on identifying and reporting fraud. For the public, it operates a dedicated fraud hotline at 877-388-3840 and accepts email referrals at EOIR.Fraud.Program@usdoj.gov. More information about this program may be found in the Program’s factsheet.