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Paper chase

Paper chase

Document fraud in the immigration process

The steadily increasing propensity of people to migrate from one part of the world to another is seen as a necessary and desirable trend. At the same time, however, it is a thorny and emotive problem.The developed world is set to witness an influx of over 100m people between 2005 and 2050. Ageing populations and skills shortages create a demand for workers that the developing world can supply. But it is not just people from developing countries who are migrating; global mobility is a trend seen in all countries and at all skill levels. The challenge of smoothing immigration procedures for qualified migrants while keeping the doors closed to less desirable entrants means many governments have been forced to put immigration and border protection at the top of their agendas. Writes Faraz Ahmed.

To cope with these pressures, governments are bolstering their immigration-screening practices. Measures include capturing biometric data, adopting objective points-based screening systems, extending their networks into source-country institutions, and international border collaboration. However, these efforts are directly threatened by the proliferation of fraudulent documentation. To take one example, in the fiscal year 2005, US Customs and Border Protection apprehended 84,000 individuals entering the US with fraudulent documentation. Despite the scale of the problem, there are no standardised international procedures for document verification.

Written: Sunday February 18th, 5:32pm 2018