Employees from at least 10 New York City law firms have been charged with participating in a fraud ring that submitted false claims in applications for Chinese asylum seekers. Among the 26 people indicted is a church employee who illegally coached applicants on the tenets of Christianity before their immigration interviews.
According to court documents, "in many cases the clients of the law firms had not actually suffered persecution in China." Rather, they were assigned "story writers" who drafted fake narratives, often based on claims of political or religious persecution.
In cases where the immigrant was not actually a Christian, he or she would be referred to a local church where an employee, Liying Lin, would charge a fee for training in the basics tenets of Christianity. Lin also served as a translator in some immigration interviews and signaled when an applicant had misspoken, according to the charges against her.
CT has regularly reported on asylum seekers and refugees, including the interesting case of how the wrong answer to a Thanksgiving question nearly deported a tortured Chinese Christian. CT also noted repeated criticisms of how Canada tests the religious knowledge of refugees.
CT has also mapped out where today's asylum seekers and refugees come from and where they go.