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The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General has found multiple instances of fraud in a visa program designed to give visas to victims of crime, while warning of excessive backlogs, mismanagement and an inability to monitor the program — conclusions that drew furious pushback from the agency in charge.
“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’] mismanagement of the U visa program led to questionable petitioners gaining U visa benefits and legitimate victims waiting more than 10 years to receive U visas,” the report said. “Although USCIS acknowledged program issues years ago, it has not taken necessary corrective actions.”
The U nonimmigrant (or temporary) visa, created in 2000, is given to victims of serious crimes who are helping law enforcement or the government in their investigations of criminal activity.
But the DHS OIG report found that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which manages the program, “did not fully address U visa fraud program risks” and investigators found 10 approved petitions with forge, unauthorized, altered or suspicious law enforcement certifications.
The investigation also found that USCIS did not track the outcomes of fraud referrals