Chain lightning

On Monday the Department of Justice brought unusual denaturalization proceedings against one “Minnesota woman” and her alleged family of “Minnesota men.” The Star Tribune reported the proceedings here. The story was also picked up in the national press by Charles Fain Lehman for the Washington Free Beacon and Katie Pavlich for Townhall.

In 2008 the use of the relative preference in our immigration law was found to be riddled with fraud. Following initial reports of fraud in Nairobi, in particular, State Department officials tested a sample of 500 refugees — mainly Somalis and Ethiopians. DNA evidence confirmed a biological relationship to the “anchor relative” in the United States in only 20 percent of cases. The program was accordingly suspended for four years. The program was subsequently reinstated in 2012 with a new requirement of DNA proof of family ties. See, for example, this 2013 Star Tribune story by Allie Shah with the helpful notes including this one: “Some in the Minnesota’s Somali community say it wasn’t always fraud — but a broader definition of ‘family’ — that caused the discrepancy.”

The proceedings brought in federal district court here demonstrate the workings of our highly problematic immigration diversity lottery together with relative chain migration and the fraud that resulted in the suspension of the relative preference in 2008. This is the DoJ press release in its entirety:

The U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced today that the United States filed civil complaints in the District of Minnesota against four individuals who allegedly fraudulently obtained their naturalized U.S. citizenship. The complaints allege that the individuals—a purported husband, wife, and two sons—unlawfully, knowingly, and fraudulently represented to immigration officials that they were a family to gain admission to the United States through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. Each individual, the complaints allege, ultimately naturalized due to his or her fraudulent representations.

“For decades, the American people have begged and pleaded with their government for a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest—a system that has as its foremost priorities their safety, their jobs, and their well-being,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “The current immigration system is easily abused by fraudsters and nefarious actors, and that’s certainly true of the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. If the fraud is not detected and swift enforcement actions are not taken, chain migration only multiplies the consequences of this abuse. Unfortunately, there are many instances of fraud across our immigration system. The American people deserve a better system that works for them, and the Department of Justice will continue its efforts to deliver one to them.”

The four cases, United States v. Fosia Abdi Adan; United States v. Ahmed Mohamed Warsame; United States v. Mustaf Abdi Adan; and United States v. Faysal Jama Mire were referred to the Department of Justice by the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), with investigative support from ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate.

“I previously taught civics classes, and saw firsthand how hard people work to come to the United States legally and honestly,” Acting Secretary Elaine Duke said. “They were so proud of their accomplishments. It is out of respect for those people that we cannot tolerate fraud, deception, and abuse of our legal immigration system. Fraudulently obtained citizenship is an affront to our American values, the rule of law, and all those who honestly attained their immigration status.”

“We are pleased at the outcome of the Justice Department’s investigation,” Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Carl Risch said. “The Department of State values the partnership with the Justice Department in our efforts to vigorously prevent and jointly combat U.S. passport and visa fraud. Deterring, detecting, and investigating U.S. passport and U.S. visa fraud are essential to protecting the integrity of consular processes and safeguarding our national security.”

A description of each of the four cases and the allegations of the United States are as follows:

Fosia Abdi Adan

Fosia Abdi Adan, 51, a native of Somalia, applied for and received a diversity visa from the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, under the Diversity Visa (DV) Program on Jan. 10, 2001, and used her visa to unlawfully obtain beneficiary visas for the below individuals who were ineligible to be beneficiaries. Adan arrived and was admitted to the United States on Jan. 29, 2001, on her diversity immigrant visa as a permanent resident. Throughout the diversity visa application process, Adan fraudulently claimed that she was married to Jama Solob Kayre, the fictitious identity used by Ahmed Mohamed Warsame, and that she and Kayre had three children together. Such children included Mohamed Jama Solob, the fictitious identity used by Mustaf Abdi Adan, and Mobarak Jama Solob, the fictitious identity used by Faysal Jama Mire. Adan and Warsame, who used the fictitious identity of Jama Solob Kayre, obtained a divorce in Minnesota for their fictitious marriage after Adan was admitted as a permanent resident. Adan continued to fraudulently represent her previous fictitious marriage and fraudulently represent her fictitious parentage of Mohamed Jama Solob and Mobarak Jama Solob, throughout the naturalization process. Adan naturalized on Aug.16, 2006. Adan has been residing in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Among other counts contained in the complaint filed against Adan, the United States alleges that she was not lawfully admitted for permanent residence because she engaged in alien smuggling as defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act, and thus was never eligible to naturalize.

Ahmed Mohamed Warsame

Ahmed Mohamed Warsame aka Jama Solob Kayre, 54, a native of Somalia, using the fictitious identity of Jama Solob Kayre, applied for and received a beneficiary diversity visa as the fictitious spouse of Fosia Abdi Adan, the principal diversity visa immigrant of the fictitious family. Warsame unlawfully obtained his visa as the spouse of a diversity visa immigrant from the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, under the DV Program on Jan. 10, 2001. Warsame arrived and was admitted to the United States on May 30, 2001, on his diversity immigrant visa as a permanent resident. Throughout the diversity visa application process, Warsame fraudulently claimed that he was married to Adan and that he and Adan had three children together. Such children included Mohamed Jama Solob, the fictitious identity used by Mustaf Abdi Adan, and Mobarak Jama Solob, the fictitious identity used by Faysal Jama Mire. Adan and Warsame, who used the fictitious identity of Jama Solob Kayre, obtained a divorce in Minnesota for their fictitious marriage after Warsame was admitted as a permanent resident. Warsame continued to fraudulently represent his previous fictitious marriage and fraudulently represent his fictitious parentage of Mohamed Jama Solob and Mobarak Jama Solob, throughout the naturalization process. Warsame, using the fictitious name of Jama Solob Kayre, naturalized on Sept. 13, 2006. During his naturalization, he changed his name to Ahmed Mohamed Warsame. Warsame has been residing in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Mustaf Abdi Adan

Mustaf Abdi Adan aka Mohamed Jama Solob, 33, a native of Somalia, using the fictitious identity of Mohamed Jama Solob, applied for and received a beneficiary diversity visa as the fictitious child of Fosia Abdi Adan, the primary diversity visa immigrant of the fictitious family. Adan unlawfully obtained his visa as the child of a diversity visa immigrant from the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, under the DV Program on Sept. 30, 2001. He arrived and was admitted to the United States on Dec. 9, 2001, on his beneficiary diversity immigrant visa as a permanent resident. Throughout the diversity visa application process, he fraudulently claimed that Fosia Abdi Adan was his mother and that Warsame, under the identity of Jama Solob Kayre, was his father. Mustaf Abdi Adan, using the fictitious name of Mohamed Jama Solob, naturalized on July 24, 2013, and at that time changed his name to Mustaf Abdi Adan. He has been residing in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Faysal Jama Mire

Faysal Jama Mire aka Mobarak Jama Solob, 31, a native of Somalia, using the fictitious identity of Mobarak Jama Solob, applied for a beneficiary diversity visa as the fictitious child of Fosia Abdi Adan, the primary diversity visa immigrant. Mire unlawfully obtained his beneficiary visa as the child of a diversity visa immigrant from the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, under the DV Program on Sept. 30, 2001. He arrived and was admitted to the United States on Dec. 9, 2001, on his beneficiary diversity immigrant visa as a permanent resident. Throughout the diversity visa application process, he fraudulently claimed that Fosia Abdi Adan was his mother and that Warsame, under the identity of Jama Solob Kayre, was his father. Faysal Jama Mire, using the fictitious name of Mobarak Jama Solob, naturalized on April 14, 2010, and at that time changed his name to Faysal Jama Mire. He has been residing in Hennepin County, Minnesota.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the citizenship of a naturalized U.S. citizen may be revoked, and his or her certificate of naturalization canceled, if such naturalization was illegally procured or procured by concealment of a material fact or by willful misrepresentation.

These cases were investigated by DSS, ICE, USCIS, and the Civil Division’s Office of Immigration Litigation, District Court Section (OIL-DCS). These cases are being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Anthony D. Bianco of OIL-DCS’s National Security and Affirmative Litigation Unit (NS/A Unit) and Trial Attorney Kathryne Gray of OIL-DCS, with support from Senior Attorney Lucia A. Fiorentino of ICE’s Office of the Principal Legal Advisor.

The claims made in the complaints are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.

To borrow the words of Don McLean’s big hit, do you recall what was revealed the day the relative preference was suspended? Our immigration law is an unholy mess.

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