Immigration-Related Document Fraud: Overview of Civil, Criminal, and Immigration Consequences [Updated December 7, 2005]   [open pdf - 76KB]

"In order to enter or remain in the United States and be eligible for various immigration-related benefits, non-citizens (aliens) must comply with a number of document requirements under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Attempts to circumvent these requirements are generally prohibited. Under the INA, an alien who uses, acquires, or produces fraudulent documents for immigration-related purposes may be subjected to civil penalties and denied certain immigration benefits. Additionally, certain fraudulent actions may carry criminal penalties under both the INA and the United States Criminal Code. This report discusses the primary civil, criminal, and immigration-related penalties associated with immigration-related document fraud. It also briefly discusses a recent proposal introduced in the 109th Congress, H.R. 4437, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005, introduced by Representative James Sensenbrenner on December 6, 2005, that would heighten the consequences of immigration-related document fraud. Reliable documents that accurately indicate the status and identity of the bearer are critical to the effective administration of immigration law. A range of documents, including immigrant and nonimmigrant visas, permits, border crossing cards, and alien registration receipt cards, may enable an alien to enter the United States and/or be eligible for various benefits for the duration of his or her stay. The integrity of the immigration system depends on the genuineness of the documents indicating the eligibility of a non-citizen (alien) to enter and remain in the United States or receive certain benefits and the records and papers submitted to obtain such documents."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32657
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