Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12052147 (posted Nov. 19, 2012)"
In February 2005, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) implemented the Benefit Fraud and Compliance Assessment (BFCA) Program to evaluate the integrity of select immigration benefit programs. In September 2008, USCIS released its H-1B Benefit Fraud & Compliance Assessment report which found, from a sampling of 246 cases filed between October 1, 2005 and March 31, 2006, instances of fraud and/or technical violations in 51 cases. Following the release of the report, USCIS adopted new, more stringent procedures for the review and adjudication of H-1B petitions.
Following numerous unsuccessful attempts to obtain copies of guidance and other records related to the implementation of the H-1B Benefit Fraud & Compliance Assessment report though FOIA, AILA, represented by the American Immigration Council and Steptoe & Johnson, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to compel release of the requested documents.
In May 2012, USCIS released a number of documents following the district court’s grant of partial summary judgment in favor of AILA, and in November 2012, the remaining contested documents were released. AILA would like to thank the AIC’s Legal Action Center and Steptoe & Johnson for their excellent work and unrelenting efforts in securing release of these documents and for advocating for the favorable resolution of this case. For more information on this lawsuit, visit the LAC’s H-1B FOIA Litigation webpage.
- 10/31/08 USCIS memorandum from Donald Neufeld, “H-1B Anti-Fraud Initiatives—Internal Guidance and Procedures in Response to Findings Revealed in H-1B Benefit Fraud and Compliance Assessment”
- H-1B Petition Fraud Referral Sheet (Aug. 27, 2008)
- Administrative Site Visit Compliance Review Report (June 19, 2009)
- H-1B Primary Fraud Indicators for Referral, California Service Center, Center Fraud Detection Operations (Aug. 28, 2008). Includes additional information and explanation of petitioner fraud indicators, beneficiary fraud indicators, and fraud indicators for the following positions: Accountant, Market Research Analyst, Budget Analyst, Business Management Analyst, Financial Analyst, and Manager.
- H-1B Primary Fraud Indicators for Referral, California Service Center, Center Fraud Detection Operations (Sept. 23, 2008). Includes additional information and explanation of petitioner fraud indicators, beneficiary fraud indicators, and fraud indicators for the following positions: Accountant, Market Research Analyst, Budget Analyst, Business Management Analyst, Financial Analyst, and Manager.
- H-1B Benefit Fraud and Compliance Assessment (BFCA) Q&A (Aug. 28, 2008)
- USCIS H & L Fraud Referral Sheet (Oct. 25, 2010)
- District Court Requires Revised Vaughn Index of Documents Relating to H-1B Fraud Detection
The court directed the government defendants to submit a revised Vaughn index, finding that USCIS’s response to AILA’s FOIA request for documents pertaining to H-1B fraud detection was inadequate. (Am. Immigration Lawyers Ass'n v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., 3/30/12)