An undercover video recorded by an operative from the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) during a visit to a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office in Port Chester, New York, on January 6, revealed that USCIS officials — even if informed that aliens attempting to enter the United States have false credentials — will sometimes admit the aliens anyway.
AFDI operative Laura Loomer went to the USCIS office just north of New York City and told an official there that she had met a family of illegal aliens from Syria who were afraid to visit the government office themselves because “they don’t have documents because they came here illegally,” with forged passports.
The USCIS official, whom Loomer identified only by his first name, “Sergio,” was apparently unconcerned that people from Syria, which is a hotbed of terrorist activity and has large areas under the control of ISIS, might enter the United States and become eligible for Temporary Protected Status.
The official told Loomer: “In the case of asylees and refugees, we waive sometimes the passport, because they are unable to provide that documentation.” In cases where the name of the alien on the forged passport was evidently false, he said: “We are going to use the name on the passport as AKA, ‘also known as.’”
During the interview, Sergio asked Loomer when the Syrian family had arrived, which she presumed was to determine if they would be eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which protects Syrian immigrants, whether they have arrived here illegally or legally, from deportation.
“Chances are, considering the situation in Syria, they are not going to be sent back,” he said.
An explanation of TPS on the USICS website reads:
The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country's nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.
Syria was first designated as a TPS nation on March 29, 2012. The current initial registration period for émigrés from Syria began on August 1, 2016 and extends through January 30, 2017
According to the USCIS website, during a designated period, individuals who are TPS beneficiaries or who are found preliminarily eligible for TPS upon initial review of their cases (prima facie eligible):
• Are not removable from the United States
• Can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD)
• May be granted travel authorization
Incredibly, USCIS states: “Once granted TPS, an individual also cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of his or her immigration status in the United States.”(Emphasis added.)
AFDI noted in its report on this interview at USCIS: “Astonishing[!] [J]ihadis in the Paris attacks, the Brussels attacks and so many bloody jihad attacks came to the West using fake passports.”
AFDI turned over the video to the Daily Caller, which broke the story.
It remains to be seen what changes the Trump administration will make in national policy regarding refugees from Syria. An article in Time on January 7 noted that one of Trump’s major promises while campaigning for the presidency was to cut admissions for refugees from Syria and institute tougher vetting on those seeking asylum in the United States from areas where terrorism is rampant. “If I win they are going back,” the article quoted Trump as saying while campaigning in New Hampshire about the refugees who have already been resettled.
Time reported that in a document that Trump released in October, just before being elected, he vowed to suspend immigration from “from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur.” In December, Trump spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway, in an interview Fox News, seemed to affirm that position.
“You have countries that harbor, train and export terrorists.... ISIS said they would mix and mingle with the Syrian refugees,” Conway said. “For all we know they are doing that and that is another problem. We just don’t know who lives among us or who is migrating from country to country and what their intentions are.”
Such statements indicate that the Obama administration’s policy of automatically granting Temporary Protected Status to refugees from Syria, even if they obviously have forged passports, will very likely come to and end under Trump.
Photo: screen-gab from video