Analysts from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a think tank that advocates reduced immigration levels and stricter enforcement of current immigration laws, said today that legalization programs for undocumented immigrants typically lead to fraud and increased illegal immigration.
Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas) joined a panel of CIS analysts in criticizing the Obama administration's deferred action program (DACA), which grants two-year, renewable deportation reprieves to some undocumented young people. Smith lumped it alongside other "amnesty" programs that he considered failures.
"If history is any indication, DACA will be accompanied by significant levels of fraud," Smith said, adding that the administration "has ignored U.S. immigration laws."
"We all know that identity documents can be easily forged," he said.
The four CIS panelists in attendance echoed that sentiment and called for the enforcement of current immigration laws before the implementation of any new reforms.
"Amnesties are notorious for fraud," said Jon Feere, a legal policy analyst for the center.
According to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency that oversees the deferred action program, they keep an eye out for fraud.
"USCIS is committed to upholding the integrity of the immigration system and uses a systematic approach to combating fraud," said USCIS Press Secretary Christopher Bentley in a statement. "If individuals knowingly make a misrepresentation, or knowingly fail to disclose facts...they will be treated as an immigration enforcement priority to the fullest extent permitted by law, and be subject to criminal prosecution and/or removal from the United States."