when the issue of illegal immigration is raised, especially when it
involves human trafficking, the discussion turns to the southwest border
of the United States, the border that, at least on maps, separates the
United States from Mexico.
We have even heard political leaders, including those who would
become our nation’s next president, talk about “America’s four border
states” as though the immigration crisis that impacts most of the
serious challenges and threats that confront our nation is only an issue
of concern for the states of California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas
and the only way to violate our immigration laws is to run our nation’s
Undeniably, those four states are getting hammered because of the
human tsunami that unrelentingly charges across our nation’s southwest
border each and every day. However, any state that has an international
airport or a seaport of necessity and commonsense, must also be
considered a border state. Furthermore, even when illegal aliens run
our nation’s borders, they are likely to travel to states that are far
from the border where they first set foot on American soil.
Today my commentary will address a particularly creative criminal
operation that allegedly enticed illegal aliens to enter the United
States under false pretenses. The aliens, according to a press release
issued by the Office of the United States Attorney for Denver Colorado
on March 9, 2012, purports that the aliens who entered the United States
with the assistance, indeed the enticement of the two defendants in
this case, thought that they were following the immigration laws of the
United States and would be lawfully earning substantial salaries as
instructors in the nursing profession in a nursing school operated in
the United States. Once they got here they were told that the jobs for
which H-1B visas had been issued were no longer available and that they
would have to settle for a fraction of the wages that they were promised
to work in extended care facilities in areas for which they had no
specific training. Allegedly the facilities that hired these aliens
thought that they were also complying with the immigration laws.
ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) also issued a news release about this case on March 9, 2012.
The two alleged con artists who were identified as Philip Langerman,
77, and Kizzy Kalu, 47, purportedly had everyone they dealt with
bamboozled and they were raking in the profits, literally and
figuratively at the expense of their victims. Kalu is in custody and
Langerman is being sought.
The press releases did not disclose how many aliens were ultimately
involved or what their countries of citizenship were. The press
releases made no mention of the whereabouts of these aliens or whether
or not efforts will be expended to seek to send them back to their
countries of citizenship. Under current policies, they are likely to be
declared “Victims of Human Trafficking.” While they may have been
swindled out of the jobs they expected to work at with appropriate
salaries, they may now be entitled to remain permanently in the United
Additionally, the only way to determine Kizzy Kalu is an alien, a
citizen of Nigeria, was to do some surfing on the internet. It is
nearly Orwellian to consider how the issue of immigration status has all
but been stricken from the government’s official vernacular!
The means by which he entered the United States, however, has never
been disclosed anywhere. Clearly the administration is seeking to blur
the distinction between aliens who have been lawfully admitted and
aliens who either violated our laws when they initially entered the
United or, in one way or another, violated their terms of admission
after they entered the United States. This is a deceptive practice and
one that, as an apparent “unintended consequence,” may cast aspersions
upon law abiding immigrants because there are so many illegal aliens
present in our country today and the administration refuses to
effectively address this serious problem.
This case is of extreme importance because it involves the violation
of many of our immigration laws and demonstrates just how easily a
crafty crook can game the system that is, at its foundation, supposed to
protect American lives and American jobs. In fact, the news releases
note that the defendants have been charges in 132 count criminal
Here is an excerpt from the press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s office of Denver, Colorado:
According to the indictment, Kalu and Langerman were
involved in a scheme making false representations to foreign nationals,
to the State of Colorado, to the United States of America, and others
for the purpose of obtaining money by means of false and fraudulent
pretenses and representations. One purpose of the scheme was to obtain
the apparent lawful presence in the U.S. of foreign nationals which
would supply labor to a business entity controlled by Kalu. After the
foreign nationals’ presence was obtained, Kalu used methods of coercion,
including the threat of causing their deportation, to obtain their
labor at various long-term care facilities in Colorado.
Langerman made and caused to be made representations that an
educational institution by the name of Adam University, located in
Denver, Colorado, was a bona fide institution of higher education, was
in need of professional instructors with expertise in the area of
nursing (which were considered “specialty occupations” under U.S.
immigration regulations). Adam University is alleged to have existed in
name only. The foreign nationals were granted H1B visas permitting
them to be employed as nurse instructors/supervisors at Adam University.
The scheme allegedly involved Foreign Healthcare Professional
Group (FHPG), a company operated by Kalu, recruiting foreign nationals
to be employed by Adam University as teaching professionals and
supervisors in the field of nursing. Kalu allegedly knew Adam
University was an educational institution in name only, and was not in
need of any instructors in nursing.
It would be helpful to provide you with a bit of background
information at this point about the way that the issue of immigration
law enforcement must consist of more than a debate about border fences
and punishing employers who intentionally hire illegal aliens.
Undoubtedly these two issues are important, however, there is far more
to the immigration system that creates a multitude of vulnerabilities to
the immigration system and hence to the security of our nation that is
almost never addressed but must be if the system is to have real
On May 18, 2004 the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims conducted a hearing on the topic: “PUSHING THE BORDER OUT ON ALIEN SMUGGLING: NEW TOOLS AND INTELLIGENCE INITIATIVES”
I was notified about that hearing by counsel to the then Ranking
Member of that Subcommittee, Sheila Jackson Lee weeks before it was
held. I was initially told that the purpose of the hearing was to
explore ways to combat alien smuggling and human trafficking. I was
happy to have been provided with that information about an upcoming
hearing and engaged in a discussion with her counsel about the need to
include immigration fraud in taking up the issue. Eventually Rep.
Jackson Lee agreed to include the issue of immigration fraud in the
hearing and she providing me with a letter of invite to testify at the
hearing as her witness. This ultimately resulted in the creation of a
fraud task force.
During the course of my prepared testimony, I discussed the issue of
the need to cultivate informants and to not only go after the smugglers
who facilitated the entry of illegal aliens by running our nation’s
borders and circumventing the inspections process, but to also provide
necessary resources to combat fraud rings- rings that provide
counterfeit or altered identity documents, and those rings that enter
into conspiracies to perpetrate fraud schemes.
Here is an excerpt from my prepared testimony about this issue:
I would also suggest that the efforts to facilitate
cultivating informants in alien-smuggling cases also be used in
conjunction with informants who similarly assist in providing
information that leads to the elimination or disruption of large-scale
fraud rings. Traditionally, these rings either furnish many fraudulent
documents to circumvent components of the Immigration and Nationality
Act or devise schemes which, on a large scale, provide aliens with a
means of obtaining immigration benefits—such as residency and
citizenship—to which they are not entitled through such schemes as
marriage fraud and labor certification fraud. I make these
recommendations in view of the fact that, according to recent GAO
reports, fraud is highly prevalent in the immigration benefits program.
Finally, I want to reiterate the point that I welcome efforts
that enhance the enforcement of the immigration statutes that would help
in securing our Nation’s borders and, consequently, our Nation’s
security. I believe that the additional discretionary authority should
be given to both components of the enforcement program, ICE and CBP, to
facilitate the vital missions of these two agencies.
Several years ago, when I testified at another Congressional hearing,
I compared the immigration system with a balloon. I said that when you
squeeze on a balloon at one side, it would bulge somewhere else. The
point is that effective immigration law enforcement must take into
account how smugglers and aspiring illegal aliens and especially the
criminals and terrorists among them, will seek to compensate when law
enforcement expends efforts to thwart alien smuggling and other
immigration related crimes. Today when the Border Patrol steps up
enforcement activities along a point on the border, the smugglers simply
find other vulnerable points along the border to establish new
smuggling routes. The entire immigration system works the very same
way. If you make it exceptionally difficult for illegal aliens to gain
employment, you will simply provide incentives for conscientious and
determined illegal aliens to commit immigration fraud to acquire Green
Cards by gaming the system.
It only takes one hole at the bottom of a boat to cause that boat to
wind up at the bottom of the lake. The immigration system has many
holes and they all need to be plugged if our nation and our citizens are
provided with the important benefits that would be gained by creating
an immigration system that has real integrity.