Department of Homeland Security employee arrested and convicted

This week an employee of the Department of Homeland Security was convicted of alien harboring, taking a bribe and computer intrusion.

The 54-year-old Hasmukh Patel, who earlier worked with Citizenship and Immigration Services has been convicted of conspiring to encourage and induce aliens to come to and reside in the United States.

Patel’s position enabled him the power to decide whether some foreigners could receive the benefits of permanent residency and, ultimately, citizenship. For his own financial gain, Patel received bribe money in return for committing fraudulent statements to the US Dept. of Labor and the Dept. of Homeland Security. Authorized access on his government computer was also exceeded.

Witnesses testified that Patel, an Indian-American,  took actions to bring an Indian couple to this country based on fraudulent work visas. Patel was paid $100,000 to bring the married couple into the United States. The visa application stated the foreign national woman would work in his home – but she never did. Although Petal wrote checks to the female visa recipient she and her husband were actually working at the family convenience store in Georgia.

Witnesses from the US Consulate in Mumbai, India, testified that Patel had called, identified himself as an employee of the Dept. of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Service and vouched for the veracity of the visa application, Officials alerted investigators that he was attempting to bring in another couple.

According to evidence, his DHS computer had been accessed to see if he or a visa recipient were under investigation.

The abuse of power may yield Patel a possible maximum 49 year prison term and $1.750,000 fine. He will receive his sentence June 23. Read entire press release here.

In 2008, according to the Annual Flow Report released by the Office of Immigration Statistics more than 3.6 million foreigners came to the US on resident non-immigrant visas. Mexico topped the list with 440,099 followed by a close India with 425,826 admissions.

The leading countries of citizenship for resident non-immigrant admissions to the United States in 2008 were Mexico (12%), India (12%), Japan (7%), South Korea (5.9%), and the UK (5.9%).

These five countries accounted for more than 40% of resident non-immigrant admissions to the US.

Even though Mexico has taken the number one spot, in actual figures, there has been an increase in the number of Indians coming to the US on resident immigrant visa status.

As the US is having a tough time in filling up its annual quota of 65,000 H-1B work visas for highly skilled categories, an official report in India has said that the Indian nationals accounted for the 38% of the total H-1B visas issued by the United States last year.

To see persons obtaining legal permanent resident status by region and country of birth for years 1999 to 2008 click here.


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