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Thursday, June 12 2014

On June 2 published attorney Christopher M. Pogue's latest immigration article. To read the complete article CLICK HERE. Below is an excerpt.

Ask an immigration attorney about the most frustrating aspect of their practice today, and most will tell you that they spend an inordinate amount of time explaining basic reasoning and logic skills to US immigration officers set to deny approvable cases – cases where the only dispute is what the record logically reflects, not an actual insufficiency of the record itself.

Why is this? Are the adjudicating immigration officers at DHS and DOS deliberately harassing petitioners and applicants? Is there some anti-immigrant conspiracy or cabal? Unlikely, but what then explains this phenomena?

Social science has the answer and you should use it to your advantage when appealing an illogical denial or notice of intent to revoke.

Let’s take a closer look at the problem…

Whether it’s a family case suspected of a fraud in Ghana, or an H-1B petition for a growing IT startup, petitioners are being suspected of fraud at alarming rates.

Most denials are based upon a failure to provide “sufficient evidence” to establish eligibility for the benefit sought. However in many, if not all of these cases, the officer likely believes there to be an element of potential fraud that they are valiantly battling back against.

This is because every officer is trained to suspect fraud around every corner and success is measured not in cases approved or growth of the economy, but in levels of potential fraud detected and prevented.

Walk through a service center and what do you see? Take a look at embassy cubicles and what do you find? I will tell you what we find; we find “fraud” literally wallpapering the environment.

Service Centers and Embassies are covered with newspaper clippings, training materials, and bulletins detailing high levels of immigration fraud, warning staff to be hyper-vigilant for fraud.

The US Embassy is Accra, Ghana is an excellent case in point. The Inspector General (OIG) Latest Report[2] found: “The staff capably and courteously handles a heavy workload in a challenging, high-fraud environment.” The report then notes, “Fraud in immigrant and NIV applications is widespread. Consular officers are attentive to the potential for fraud and malfeasance. The recent investigation and subsequent dismissal of a long-time LE staff employee and some local guards has heightened this awareness.”

Yes, you read that correctly; even the staff at the US Embassy is suspected of committing fraud in Accra, Ghana.

According Governmental Accountability Office (GAO)[3] over 90% of family connections are requested to provide DNA evidence of their family connections. The Embassy even has a special webpage discussing “Romance Scams.” The page warns US citizens about “attempts at fraud by persons claiming to live in Ghana who profess friendship or romantic interest over the Internet.”[4]

Fraud, fraud, fraud, fraud, fraud… Did I mention fraud?

It’s around every corner, don’t you know?

And perhaps there is some fraud, but that’s not the point here.

The point is this, creating an environment that conditions immigration officers to suspect fraud around every corner significantly impacts the performance of these officers.

This is not my pet theory. This is social scientific fact. It’s called Confirmation Bias, and as Sir Francis Bacon noted above, its impact has been widely noted and accepted within social science since at least the 17th Century.

To read the complete article CLICK HERE.

Posted by: Christopher M. Pogue, Esq. AT 08:52 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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The Pogue Law Firm LLC
Of Counsel with the Fleischer Law Firm LLC
810 Sycamore Street, 2nd Floor - Cincinnati, Ohio 45202            

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