Human Rights

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Prosecutors Call Tyson Smuggling Trial a Case of 'Corporate Greed' NY Times (registration req'd) (Feb 6, 2003)
Opinion & Editorials. Tyson, the food chain-store-giant was implicated for smuggling (across the border) cheap labor.

Criminal Prosecution for Visa Fraud ?
False Identities
U.S. Battles Visa and Passport Fraud

Jan. 21 - The recent arrests of more than a few suspected terrorists caught crossing U.S. and allied borders is drawing official attention to a thorny problem: the ease of obtaining false visas and passports. Last month, U.S. authorities arrested an Algerian man they say was carrying a fraudulent Canadian passport and trying to smuggle bomb-making materials into United States. Officials say Ahmed Ressam, who was indicted Thursday on charges of conspiracy to commit international terrorism, had used a French passport issued under an assumed name to enter Canada back in 1994. Two suspected associates, a Canadian woman and an Algerian man carrying a doctored passport, were later arrested in Vermont after crossing the border. Authorities have linked them and Ressam to a third Algerian suspect who was caught in Canada last year with a Bosnian passport.

Creative Deception

One way to enter illegally is by using forged or altered visas or passports. Producing such papers has become big business, with some immigrant-smuggling operations charging as much as $5,000 for expertly altered passports, according to the State Department.

Some outfits even provide specialized training for their “clients” to help them impersonate the legal bearer.

‘Impostors’ on the Rise

And with the advent of more sophisticated passport technology in many Western countries, immigration officials say they are increasingly encountering “impostors” - people trying to gain entry using un-doctored but often stolen or wrongfully issued documentation that might not catch the eye of an immigration inspector.

 “Right now, probably our biggest problem is impostors,” says an INS official.

Catching impostors is particularly difficult when they present a passport from one of the 29 or so countries - major industrialized nations such as the United Kingdom, Germany and France - for which the United States does not require a visa. Travellers from those countries are not screened by the State Department and might receive less scrutiny at checkpoints than from other countries.