East Africans Were Banned from Immigrating over Rampant Fraud in 2008


“Little Mogadishu” Minneapolis

Remember the four-year moratorium on immigrants from East Africa? You undoubtedly don’t. Few cared at the time. The freeze affected refugees in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Guinea and Ghana, many of whom have been waiting years to emigrate.

Immigration was halted for four years because there was rampant fraud. Immigrants in the U.S. were claiming relatives who weren’t relatives and activists in the U.S. told the State Department to redefine family.

In August 2008, the Wall Street Journal ran an article detailing the widespread fraud in the largest portion of our immigration program — family reunification. As it happens, the majority of East Africans who apply to come to the United States to join relatives in America are not related.

The program was suspended for four years. DNA testing by the government exposed the fraud, Refugee Resettlement Watch reminds us.

There was little reaction at the time.

The Wall Street Journal explained:

Typically, a refugee already living in the U.S., a so-called anchor, is entitled to apply for permission to bring a spouse, minor children, parents and siblings. The process requires interviews, medical examinations and security screening.

But suspicion has grown in recent years that unrelated Africans were posing as family members to gain entry. “This program is designed for people to reunify with family members” already in the U.S., says Barbara Strack, director of the refugee division at U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services. “We wanted to have empirical data” to confirm suspected fraud, she says.

In February, the State Department launched pilot testing to verify family relationships, mainly among Somalis.

The BBC reported that only 20 percent of those who applied were legitimately related.

Catholic Charities and other groups accepting billions to resettle refugees using your tax dollars suggested a new way to define a family:

“No one condones people gaining entry by false means; the integrity of the program must be ensured,” says Bob Carey, chair of Refugee Council USA, a coalition of U.S. agencies that work on refugee issues, and vice president of resettlement for the International Rescue Committee. However, he adds, “DNA is not the only means to assess family relationships.”

They then said that Africans’ definition of family extends beyond blood.

“Some families are raising children who aren’t their own but whom they call son or daughter,” says Ms. Fox of Catholic Charities.

The U.S. absorbs about half of all refugees who are resettled and that encourages fraud. The backers of unfettered immigration want DNA testing abandoned and they want to define families as anything the immigrants say they are.

Read the report from the State Department about Somalia, one of the nations President Trump named in the temporary ban. It’s a failed, dangerous nation, one of many.


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