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US Immigration Scams: Claims of Special Relationship to Government

Transcript of the above video:

 As the title of this video suggests we are going to be discussing immigration scams. We have gone into this topic a little bit in the past in a couple of videos but I want to specifically go into one that I think could be especially insidious and it is frankly the most disingenuous of all types of the scams that I have ever heard of or seen and that is this notion that someone has a "special relationship" with someone that operates within the Immigration process.

First of all it is not true. Nobody has a special relationship with the US Immigration process. It is a process that is undertaken by various agents and agencies associated with the United States Government. There are various controls in order to try to eliminate fraud in all of its aspects throughout the system and moreover, in the very few cases where you have ever actually heard of certain sort of inappropriate relationships existing between Officers of the Government associated with US Immigration matters and someone outside of the Government it has proven to be really, really bad for all concerned because people went to jail, prison specifically.

I have got a brochure here that I got from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. The title of the brochure is: “The wrong Help Can Hurt: Beware of Immigration Scams”. I believe the form is M - 712 (05/11). Just to quote directly from this because I thought it was rather useful. 

Quoting directly, " What are some common immigration scams? Scammers often make promises that sound too good to be true. They may tell you that they have a special relationship with the government or can get you an immigration benefit like a green card or work permit very quickly or they can help you get benefits for which you do not qualify. Sometimes websites that look very professional can lead you to a scam. Scammers also advertise in phone books, flyers, on signs in stores. They may take advantage of radio stations and newspapers to advertise through the media. They may also be recommended by someone you know. Be careful. Before going to someone selling immigration advice find out first if he or she is an attorney or a BIA accredited representative.”  Yes that is a good point. We bought that up in another video.  Pursuant to Federal Regulations, only a Licensed American Attorney or certain very narrowly limited agents which are approved by the Board of Immigration Appeals are allowed to represent individuals before the United States government especially in a compensated capacity. So that is a topic, I believe I did another video on that and that is a topic for another time if I didn't.

The thing to take away from this is, as noted really, really leery of anyone claiming some sort of "special relationship" with someone in the immigration apparatus. First of all it is virtually unlikely that that is going to happen. Secondly, any dealings I have ever had with anybody working inside the Immigration apparatus have been professional and cordial and that's about it. The distance is not unlike the distance between a Defense Attorney and a Prosecutor perhaps. Again maybe professional and cordial but they are not sitting around commiserating or between an Attorney and a Judge. Again there maybe professionalism and cordiality but they are not sitting around commiserating or gaming the system some way, nefariously quite frankly. So be very, very careful, those who are watching this video, to anyone claiming that kind of connection or ability because it should just be an immediate red flag that something is off.

Again the apparatus is what it is. In some ways it doesn't work as well as we would like it to; in other ways it works quite well especially compared to immigration systems in other countries. But that being said, the thing to take away from this video is if you hear somebody say "Oh I have a connection with so and so I know so and so.  We'll get this sorted out", be careful be very, very careful. That would be the moment to especially ascertain credentials and it would also probably just be a good idea if credentials are "No" to perhaps move along and try to find somebody else.