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Scott Johnson

Nov. 10 2017


On Monday the Department of Justice brought unusual denaturalization proceedings against one “Minnesota woman” and her alleged family of “Minnesota men.” The Star Tribune reported the proceedings here. The story was also picked up in the national press by Charles Fain Lehman for the Washington Free Beacon and Katie Pavlich for Townhall.

In 2008 the use of the relative preference in our immigration law was found to be riddled with fraud. Following initial reports of fraud in Nairobi, in particular, State Department officials tested a sample of 500 refugees — mainly Somalis and Ethiopians. DNA evidence confirmed a biological relationship to the “anchor relative” in the United States in only 20 percent of cases. The program was accordingly suspended for four years. The program was subsequently reinstated in 2012 with a new requirement of DNA proof of family ties. See, for example, this 2013 Star Tribune story by Allie Shah with the helpful notes including this one: “Some in the Minnesota’s Somali community say it wasn’t always fraud — but a broader definition of ‘family’ — that caused the discrepancy.”

The proceedings brought in federal district court here demonstrate the workings of our highly problematic immigration diversity lottery together with relative chain migration and the fraud that resulted in the suspension of the relative preference in 2008. This is the DoJ press release in its entirety:




To borrow the words of Don McLean’s big hit, do you recall what was revealed the day the relative preference was suspended? Our immigration law is an unholy mess.

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