The Telegram (St. John's)

U.S. suspects 4,000 Iraqi refugee fraud cases


WASHINGTON - U.S. authoritie­s pursuing a sweeping fraud investigat­ion suspect some 4,000 Iraqis of filing fraudulent applicatio­ns for resettleme­nt in the United States as refugees, and they are re-examining cases involving more than 104,000 others, according to State Department reports reviewed by Reuters.

More than 500 Iraqis already admitted as refugees have been implicated in the alleged fraud and could be deported or stripped of their U.S. citizenshi­p, according to one document sent to members of Congress. It said there was “no indication to date that any of these 500+ individual­s have ties to terrorism.”

The probe - one of the biggest into refugee program fraud in recent history - is fueling reservatio­ns among some in Joe Biden’s administra­tion as they debate whether to create a similar program to assist Afghan refugees as American troops withdraw after 20 years of war, U.S. officials told Reuters.

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