GAO Reports Spike In Immigrant Applications Tied To Domestic Violence
The number of foreign nationals seeking to permanently stay in the United States because they were a victim of domestic violence has spiked in recent years, but so has the number of applications flagged by the government as possible fraud.
The Government Accountability Office reports a 70% increase in the number of foreign nationals seeking legal status for having been abused by a spouse or relative who’s a U.S. citizen or green card holder.
Congress’s investigative arm says there’s also been a 305% increase in the number of these cases tagged by federal officials as potential fraud.
“These are actually very, very complex and detailed applications, said Ayensa Millan, managing attorney at CIMA Law Group. “There is no requirement that you have to notify the authorities of the abuse.”
Not requiring documentation like this is to protect the victim, Millan said.
But it also means an application could set off fraud alerts because there’s no police report or some of the evidence is hearsay.