An undercover video exclusively obtained by The Daily Caller Tuesday claims to show an immigration official in New York giving advice on how illegal Syrian immigrants can receive asylum with fake passports.
Laura Loomer, an undercover activist for Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), visited a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office Jan. 6 in Port Chester, N.Y. Loomer told an employee who AFDI identified as “Sergio” that she knows a family from Syria who is afraid to come into the office because they are in the country illegally. She said that she wants to make sure the family is “integrated” and has “immigration services.”
“The issue with them is that they have fake passports,” Loomer says in the video. The man identified as Sergio responded, “We waive sometimes the passports or whatever because they are unable to provide that documentation.”
He asked when the Syrian family arrived, presumably to see if they would be eligible for Temporary Protected Status, which protects Syrian immigrants, of illegal or legal status, from deportation. The status is available to Syrians who have been in the U.S. since Oct. 1, 2016. and the date to register ends in a few weeks.
“The fake passport is one thing, we are going to use the name that is on the passport as AKA, also known as,” the USCIS employee responded. He added, “chances are considering the situation in Syria, they are not going to be sent back.”
The man identified as Sergio said the family could get a work permit and that Loomer should “file accurately” the paperwork and make sure that she uses their correct names or “the names they used with these passports, which are not their own names.”
The USCIS employee went on to say, “Was there ever a situation where people came with fraudulent documents and qualified for asylum? Yes, because it’s understood that they can not always obtain genuine documents. So it’s far from being unique.”
The Daily Caller asked the USCIS if giving asylum to immigrants with fake documents is “far from unique” like the USCIS employee said in the video. A spokesperson responded by saying they do not “publicly discuss individual immigration cases” and giving a link to a information on their refugee and asylum programs. Nearly 85,000 Syrian refugees were resettled in Fiscal Year 2016 and the Obama administration has sped up resettlement in the president’s last days in office. (RELATED: Obama Admin Rushes To Resettle Refugees During Last Days In Office)
A USCIS spokesperson also said that the agency cannot confirm the authenticity of the video as they claim it is heavily edited. The USCIS did not confirm nor deny that Sergio is an employee with the agency.
TheDC has previously reported on an internal Immigration and Customs Enforcement memo which states difficulty in preventing fraud in the refugee program as “bad actors” use false biographies and “produce and submit fictitious supporting documentation.” It has also been reported that the Islamic State has a thriving fake passport industry.