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18 U.S.C. §1546 states that whoever (1) forges, counterfeits, alters, or falsely makes any fraudulent visa, border crossing card, or other immigration document; or (2) knowingly utters, uses, attempts to use, possesses, obtains, accepts, or receives any fraudulent immigration document; or (3) when lawfully applying for any immigration documents, knowingly makes a fraudulent misstatement as to a material fact on the application or supporting affidavit, commits the offense of immigration fraud.
There are two types of immigration fraud in West Palm Beach and Miami: document fraud and benefit application fraud.
Document fraud applies in cases where someone has sought to procure, seeks to procure, or has procured a visa, other documentation or entry/admission into the United States by fraud or by willfully misrepresenting a material fact. Examples of immigration fraud relating to document misrepresentation include:
Using a false name, birth date, marital status to obtain a visa, an extension or change of status or adjustment of status.
Falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident on an I-9 form to obtain employment.
Falsification of employment, qualifications, or income supporting a H1-B visa.
Benefit application fraud occurs when an individual unlawfully obtains another benefit under the immigration laws. The single-most common type of benefit fraud is marriage fraud, which accounts for half of all immigration fraud cases. Marriage fraud happens when a foreign national and/or illegal immigrant uses short-term or fraudulent marriages to gain U.S. green cards and citizenship.
The penalties for immigration fraud range from up to 25 years (if the offense was committed to facilitate an act of international terrorism), 20 years (if the offense was committed to facilitate a drug trafficking crime), 10 years (in the case of the first or second such offense, if the offense was not committed to facilitate such an act of international terrorism or a drug trafficking crime), or 15 years (in the case of any other offense). Whoever knowingly uses a fraudulent immigration document is subject to up to 5 years imprisonment.