From Australia—’Fooled By A Ship of Frauds’

The main part of this bulletin is an Australian column, ‘Fooled By A Ship of Frauds’, which describes refugee-related events in Australia. Readers will see that events in Canada are similar.

We are circulating  this column because Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is currently being attacked by the refugee lobby for introducing measures that would help to end the abuse of Canada’s refugee system.  The things that have happened in Australia have also occurred here. Mr. Kenney  should stand his ground against the refugee lobby and introduce even stronger measures.

Since 1990, over 800,000 people have entered Canada as refugees. Some were genuine refugees but most used the refugee system to create an entirely alternate immigration system. A very large number of these people  were accepted and walk freely around Canada today. After being accepted, they sponsored numerous relatives who entered Canada through the Family Class.  These Family Class relatives are now sponsoring their relatives.

Stopping this chain migration, which has probably exceeded well over 2 million, should be a high priority. Correcting abuse of the refugee system will therefore solve many other immigration problems, particularly Canada’s world’s-highest per capita intake.

Listening to the refugee lobby, who have created and perpetuated this mess, should be erased from Mr. Kenney’s “Things To Do” list.

Mr. Kenney has to stand up against this pressure. Most Canadians will support him.

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Fooled by a ship of frauds

Miranda Devine
The Sunday Telegraph
Sydney, Australia
May 06, 2012

WHEN it comes to immigration, Australia has become a soft touch where lies and fraud are a prerequisite for entry.

Everyone knows what’s going on but as long as the lies are consistent, there is a nudge nudge, wink wink acceptance

“Australia gives citizenship if you have a good story,” a people smuggler told The Guardian in January, spruiking (speaking in public about) all-expenses-paid trips from Afghanistan to Australia for $11,500, including forged documents ranging from fake marriage certificates to death threats. They will know you are lying, but as long as you say the same thing whatever they ask you, you will be fine.”‘

And so it seems.

Last week we heard serious claims of widespread fraud in immigration visa applications, which are going unpunished, if they are noticed at all.

Two whistleblowers from the Department of Immigration told ABC’s 7.30 program last week of widespread rorting (cheating) of visas, of Pakistanis pretending to be Afghan refugees and of family reunion privileges being used for child trafficking, child brides and the arrival of people unrelated to the Australian-based sponsor. [For the transcript, see http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3494197.htm ]

“Illegal facilitation of non-family members, children, child brides and unknown strangers via false documents, false statements and false applications,” was how one anonymous department employee described the deceptions.

“Afghans in Pakistan are now coached by ever-more informed relatives and agents in Australia how to sidestep (the department’s) integrity processes,” she said.

“When particular visa subclasses are being cracked down on — for instance the ‘Orphan Relative’ and ‘Carer’ visas — the fraud simply moves to other caseloads . . .

“Family reunification visas are now the preferred ‘fraud de jour’.”

Another whistleblower, a former visa officer from the Australian High Commission in Islamabad, told the program: “A large percentage of my case load would have been Pakistanis claiming to be Afghan refugees or Afghan asylum seekers.

“I know that there are children that have come to Australia that are not related to the people that they have been sponsored by.

“They’ve just been lost in the system, lost in the world of wherever they are. It’s a policy problem, and we’re so concerned with being politically correct and not being seen as racist that we are compromising our own integrity.”

She claimed that when fraudulent applications were rejected, the Migration Review Tribunal in Australia would often overturn the decision and grant the fraudster entry. You can hardly blame the MRT, where Australian-based sponsors appeal visa rejections on behalf of applicants overseas.

“We’re not coping particularly well at the moment,” principal member Denis O’Brien said, citing more than 10,000 cases this year.

He made the same point in last year’s annual report, warning of increased delays as workloads escalated, with a 24 per cent rise in applications for 2010-11.

“Our decision-making is sound,” he told the ABC. But with such an overload and, under orders from the minister to process people faster, you can see the pressure on review tribunals just to wave people through.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen was in Sri Lanka last week, but his office downplayed the ABC’s story, and claimed it was out of date.

“We are confident we have appropriate measures in place to address any potential fraud from occurring in our systems,” he said.

But if fraud is detected, Bowen’s spokesman could give no evidence that anyone is penalised for it.

That’s a curious benevolence, which surely gives a green light to future scammers.

He dismissed the former visa officer who spoke to the ABC as, “a former locally engaged junior officer who is out of date with technological advances in fraud detection.

“It is obvious she is completely unaware of the department’s practices and advances in biometric data collection, investigation techniques and the strengthened integrity measures that have been in place for some time.”

DNA tests are used in “some cases to prove familial relationships”.

Fingerprints of asylum seekers and illegal entrants, stored in a shared database with the UK, Canada,

New Zealand and the US, help catch “a lot of people trying to commit this kind of fraud”.

In 2011-12, the Immigration Department enrolled 51,352 fingerprints in a data bank, and referred 7306 fingerprints to other countries, resulting in 839 matches.

Of those, 101 identities were found to be mismatched; that is, fraudulent.

But Bowen’s spokesman could not cite any charges or prosecutions resulting from those 101 detected cases of fake identity.

“Mostly they’re stopped at the other end, so no action is needed here,” he said.

Nor was he aware of any attempts to hold to account anyone in Australia who had sponsored the fakers to come here.

Nor could the Australian Federal Police point to any prosecutions here of anyone involved in the sort of visa fraud alleged by 7.30.

“Through media reporting, the AFP is aware of allegations of visa fraud involving family reunion visas,” a spokesman said on Friday.

Only if an allegation involved “serious and organised” fraud, would the AFP investigate, “in co-operation with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship”.

But Opposition spokesman Scott Morrison says it’s unlikely any prosecutions are under way.

“I thought the government’s attitude towards (the allegations raised in 7.30) was very casual,” he said. “I don’t think they want to know how bad the problem is. If what the whistleblowers claim is correct, then crimes are being committed by people with visas in Australia, yet no one appears to have been investigated.

“What we have here is a fraud industry working over our immigration system. The potential risks of getting this wrong are massive.”

Even migration agent Marion Le, a long-time refugee activist, is worried. “I know that there are people living now in Australia as permanent residents and as citizens who are actually citizens of Pakistan, but who pass themselves off as Afghans,” she told the ABC.

“I think that’s a very big concern for Australia because we have no way of knowing who those people are.”

The integrity of our border protection system is under threat, with implications for national security, for fairness, and for continued community cohesion in one of the great immigrant nations of the world. No starker evidence of the chaos exists than the 16,000 unauthorised boat arrivals since the Rudd and Gillard governments dismantled the successful Howard-era border protection policies. The arrivals are escalating and are so frequent they barely make the news, unless a tragedy occurs.

The government’s policy lurches are luring people here on false pretences, inducing them to cheat, and rewarding them for breaking our rules.

The problem for the Coalition is how to put the genie back in the bottle once they gain office.

They have a plan but it is not going to be pretty.

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The increase in Afghans leaving for Europe fuels a lucrative business in fake passports and Taliban death threats. See the following :

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/18/afghanistan-people-smugglers-taliban-europe .

http://www.smh.com.au/national/australia-a-soft-touch-for-asylum-20120121-1qbaj.html

http://www.liberal.org.au/Latest-News/2012/05/03/Reports-of-immigration-fraud-demand-answers-from-Minister-Bowen.aspx

See also http://www.scottmorrison.com.au/info/speech.aspx?id=387&page=1