Smugglers, Illicit Documents, and Schemes Are Undermining U.S. Controls Over Immigration

GGD-76-83: Published: Aug 30, 1976. Publicly Released: Aug 30, 1976.

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Two proposals to solve U.S. immigration problems are (1) legislation to prohibit employment of illegal aliens, and (2) issuance of a new alien identification card. U.S. controls over immigration are being undermined by numerous aliens who employ professional smugglers or use illicit documents to enter or remain illegally in this country. These activities are expected to increase as it becomes more difficult to enter or remain illegally in the United States.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service's antismuggling efforts have had some good results, including the immobilization of several large rings; however, problems exist which limit its effectiveness. The Service's work to cut down the use of these documents may have a limited result. Nonimmigrants violate conditions of their temporary entry. Aliens also enter into sham marriages or take advantage of weak, investor-exemption regulations to become legal residents. Proposed changes by the Service and the Department of State to investor-exemption regulations, if put into effect, would be a big step toward assuring that only bona fide investors will be admitted.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: Congress should establish deterrents to curb professional smuggling of aliens, including legal resident aliens who are involved, and to prevent aliens in the United States on temporary stays who violate conditions of their entry from obtaining legal resident status by enacting legislation to: (1) permit deportation of legal resident aliens based on criminal convictions for smuggling offenses; (2) give the Immigration and Naturalization Service discretionary authority to seize vehicles used in smuggling aliens; and (3) prohibit the adjustment of nonimmigrants to legal resident status if grounds for such status were acquired while nonimmigrants were in an illegal status.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Attorney General should direct the Service to: (1) use established procedures to identify multijurisdictional smugglers quickly; (2) classify known smugglers by the size of their operation and put into place a system for evaluating the progress being made in immobilizing smuggling rings; (4) determine if additional manpower should be assigned to antismuggling units; (5) study the informant program to assess and improve its effectiveness in identifying and apprehending smugglers; (6) begin efforts to obtain suitable surveillance vehicles; (7) seek assistance from U.S. embassy officials in obtaining cooperation from Mexican officials; (8) increase personnel attendance at illicit document seminars; (9) determine if it is practical to periodically reissue or revalidate previously issued alien registration documents to help prevent illicit use of genuine documents; (10) establish an index of alien registration documents lost or stolen to tighten controls over the reissuance of those documents; (11) develop a system to provide quick verification of an alien's status for employers; (12) expand investigative efforts, such as investigating sellers and makers of illicit documents; (13) seek more cooperation from State and local agencies issuing birth certificates by increasing its scope of agreements with them and extending such agreements to all other appropriate birth certificate-issuing agencies; (14) determine statistically those characteristics of marriages indicative of fraud; and (15) provide the Department of State with more information on the Service's actions to determine the validity of marriage relationships.

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