The implementation of the humanitarian parole that the government of United States held since late 2022 for Venezuelan migrants and later extended to applicants from Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti has also led to reports of fraud.
On January 5, the White House established the regulations to follow. The migrant must have a person who sponsors their stay in the US, for which they must follow a series of procedures before the authorities of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS, for its acronym in English).
In general, the sponsors are usually people close to the interested party, such as family or friends; but there are also cases in which anonymous citizens, many of them Americanoffer to help a migrant in an altruistic way.
However, this goodwill has also given way to picaresque.
The offers to be a sponsor of a migrant, which are advertised on different social networks, are based on the collection of thousands of dollars to be paid at the candidate’s place of residence and the rest of the economic amount upon completing the legal procedures.
The US authorities published in October a information guide which clarifies that a sponsor can agree to support more than one beneficiary, but must submit a Form I-134 separately for each.
In any case, the government of The US issued warnings immediately warning about possible fraudulent actions and did so through its embassies.
“Access to the process of parole is free. Neither the US-based supporter nor the beneficiary in Cuba are required to pay a fee to file the form or to be considered. Beware of scams from anyone who asks you for money,” warned the US embassy in Havana.
Julio Cruz, a Cuban who seeks to migrate to the US, explained in statements to the voice of america the difficulties he currently faces due to his financial insolvency. “If I had it yes […] If you can pay the money there, I work, if they give me a job there and I can pay you working, it would be easier for me,” he explained, referring to an ad he saw on social networks.
Cruz, speaks resigned to the serious economic crisis that the Antillean island is going through. “You work all day and you don’t have to go out and buy the food you need for the day.”
by way of alert, immigration attorney Claudia Bernal, spoke with the VOA about the ingenuity, necessity and urgency of people who leave their country behind, who serve as fodder for scammers. He also talked about the risk they face of losing money and some of the sponsor’s powers.
“It is not necessarily an economic responsibility, we are talking about a commitment that these people assume that if, for example, the sponsored person is required to appear before the USCIS authorities, the sponsor will be responsible for this to happen, that abide by certain rules of conduct, he said.
Although there is no rule that prevents charging for assuming this role to prepare an application, the immigration authorities warn that this is a document signed under oath, with possible legal consequences.
However, USCIS clarifies in one of its provisions after announcing the new immigration route: “If you include in this affidavit of financial support any information you know to be false, you could be subject to criminal prosecution under the laws of the United States ”.
[Con información de Laura Sepúlveda, periodista de la VOA, desde Austin]
Source: VOA Español