Recently, the departments of Homeland Security and Justice announced a new regulation that would overhaul the United States’ widely abused asylum process. Government officials stated their proposed rule will “more effectively separate baseless claims from meritorious ones. This would better ensure groundless claims do not delay or divert from deserving claims.” Among the 15 revisions the administration seeks is rejecting asylum petitions from applicants who previously but illegally entered the U.S., which would be a major step in the right direction.

The goals of DHS and DOJ are worthy. For decades, the asylum process has been subject to widespread fraud. Immigration advocates have instructed border-crossing asylum seekers to claim “credible fear,” the two words that almost always assure entry.

In 2018, NPR published an expose that targeted asylum mills. During a 2012 probe by federal immigration officials, 30 immigration lawyers, paralegals and interpreters were questioned about helping 3,500 foreign nationals located in Manhattan’s Chinatown and Flushing, Queens to fraudulently obtain asylum. Tellingly, the feds named their case “Operation Fiction Writer.”

Immigration authorities accused lawyers and their staffs of dumping boilerplate language into their clients’ persecution lies, coaching clients to memorize and recite fictitious accounts to asylum officers, and fabricating documents to buttress their phony asylum claims. Obama administration officials, including then-U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, declined to criminally prosecute any wrong-doers.

In 2019 Bharara was replaced by Geoffrey S. Berman, who recently stepped down under pressure. Berman sentenced a legitimate but dishonest Queens immigration attorney to five years behind bars for submitting more than 100 false asylum claims that included drafting applicants’ alleged persecution narratives, forging her clients’ signatures, and falsely notarizing affidavits.

Although most immigration lawyers practice their profession legally, asylum cases represent lucrative business. Legitimate immigration lawyers’ successes and the income they generate, however, have inspired con artists to pose as immigration experts in order to cash in on prospective, but unsuspecting, would-be asylees.

Earlier this year, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) charged a Tampa fraudster with a 25-count indictment, including eight counts of mail fraud, eight counts of making false statements in immigration documents, and nine counts of aggravated identity theft. The swindler, who targeted Hispanic illegal immigrants who sought driver’s licenses and work authorization, falsely portrayed himself as an immigration attorney, pastor, accountant, former immigration official and former federal law enforcement officer, all bogus representations.

An all-encompassing asylum process should not be fraud-vulnerable. Historically, asylum claims are difficult to prove. Since asylum claims are evaluated either at a legal port of entry or processed after an individual has illegally entered the U.S., it’s important to weed out the valid from the frivolous.

Asylum fraud isn’t, as advocates disingenuously say, a “victimless crime.” The Government Accountability Office noted that granting asylum based on false statements jeopardizes the immigration system’s integrity by enabling the individual to remain, and then apply for affirmative federal benefits, including work authorization documents, and eventually treasured U.S. citizenship. Moreover, fraudulent asylum applications delay processing valid applications, and impede granting benefits to aliens who legitimately need protection.

The U.S. cannot be the ultimate destination wherein worldwide claimants’ grievances are resolved. Cases must be provable, not disinformation-based. Even prominent globalist Bill Gates said that the true asylum solution must come from the home nations of asylees. In 2018, Gates said: “Each country to some degree is on its own to solve their challenges.”

Joe Guzzardi is a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst who has written about immigration for more than 30 years. Contact him at


(9) comments


Progressives for Immigration Reform is a right-wing hate group that opposes immigration of any type.


Does the hate group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, pay you to smear organizations that support reasonable immigration policies? Hard to see how anyone could argue against any organization that supports rights for American workers and jobs for American workers. So the two points in your attack are both lies. Any reader can visit the PFIR site, as well as its sister sites, Doctors without Jobs and U.S. Tech Workers, and read for themselves. I encourage readers to do so. Sorry, Big Bob to call you out as a liar, but you are! Shame on you!


Actually MBey you're wrong. Check for yourself you shouldn't have called anyone a liar, Shame on you. This is from all the way back in 2014 when they were attacking President Obama. There are plenty of examples of their fake progressiveness since then.

An anti-immigrant group, dubiously named Progressives For Immigration Reform (PFIR), released a 30-second ad this week seizing on anxiety over African-American joblessness and Hurricane Katrina to slam on prospects of immigration reform. The PFIR ad criticizes the President and some Louisiana lawmakers for endorsing “amnesty for millions of illegal aliens.” Suggesting that immigration reform could strip jobs away from African Americans is a political tactic employed time and again by anti-immigrant groups to manufacture tension between blacks and immigrants.

PFIR has a storied anti-immigrant history that is anything but progressive. As Imagine 2050 noted, “PFIR aims to make the anti-immigrant movement’s nativism palatable for environmentally minded liberals.” The group has ties to the nativist John Tanton Network, designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Imagine 2050 also found a group photo of PFIR’s executive director Leah Durant posing with two anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic individuals at a 2009 writer’s workshop put on by The Social Contract Press, known for publishing provocative, anti-immigrant, and sometime racist works. Durant also worked as an attorney for another anti-immigrant Tanton organization called the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform (FAIR).


MBey... I too believe PIR is a right-wing group that purports to care about American jobs and workers, but I've heard a couple of their leading members speak and they are actually more concerned about people coming over our Southern Border, often calling them potential criminals for out streets. While I agree, we do need a fair immigration policy, I don't see them as the organization that would champion this goal fairly. They are much in-line with Trump's Policies which in my opinion are to harsh. Americans would never take the jobs that these people would take. Working in Agriculture picking fruit or the Hospitality Industry cleaning rooms are not desirable jobs for the average American. Both these industries are very vocal about the need for these low-wage workers coming across our borders to fill these positions. This is a very deep and complicated topic, and I do care very much about our workers; however: I would be more impressed with an organization that was fighting for livable wages and affordable healthcare for our workers. An organization that was fighting for affordable education so our workers could advance and make us more competitive globally, but I did not hear any of that from PIR. Anyway, your new and I was just curious how reasonable you might be to converse with since we already have enough on here that will call anyone that does not agree with them a "Fact Twisting Communist" which is more of an excuse for their inability to be objective. (See JVW Below) So hopefully Welcome!


Davel-Poo. Quote from the man with empathy trying to be reasonable.

“In fact, If it was up to me, I would make it illegal for you and those like you, to vote based on the aforementioned inabilities you possess. That's something that would actually Make America Great Again."

Only love and compassion out of Davel-Poo the Under cover Communist


The “Southern Poverty Law Center” started out with a noble cause of identifying, publicizing, civilly suing, hate groups and white supremacy organizations like the KKK and skin heads. Morris Dees it’s leader was a crusader against racial hate groups. It has since devolved into a racial extortion and blackmailing outfit, by labeling anyone they target as racist (in my opinion). It is NOW totally discredited. [thumbdown][scared] Deaton


You got that right MBey, BigBOB AKA HwyRover or rovR** for short, is a LIER of the first order! He’s got some sycophants HavasuGuy [batman] Proudindi and RISIST all of whom are flaming liberal fools! Davel2 an upper class Twit, has already attempted to influence you with soft spoken jibberish about “empathy, understanding and feelings” and his high power eastern education and very “very deep blue roots” what a doofus! Welcome to the conversation! [thumbup][beam] Deaton........

Comment deleted.

JVW... I really don't want to bother with you, but if you're going to quote portions

of my comments, you should also post the portions of yours that encouraged my response. Grow-up!

Comment deleted.

JVW, look who’s tell who to “grow up”? They certainly don’t like being called out and confronted with their condescending “Tripe” Especially the “Twit”, Davel2, So funny![thumbup][beam] Deaton.......

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.