Saturday, March 21, 2015
Fingerprint guidelines made stricter in wake of report
The New York state court system says it will tighten its fingerprinting procedures after the I-Team exposed what some believe is an organized scheme to exploit the Queens Family Court to gain faster access to green cards.
Earlier this month, the I-Team revealed that family court insiders allege a pattern in Queens in which a federal law intended to protect child victims of abuse or sex trafficking is exploited as a shortcut to legal immigration status.
Hundreds of young men from the same part of India have told strikingly similar stories in Queens Family Court, the I-Team learned from months of interviews with judges, clerks, lawyers and translators who work the cases. Judges tell the I-Team they fear these undocumented young men are illegally crossing the U.S. border with the knowledge that they can head to family court for help getting special immigration status.
As part of that process, the young men, appearing in court often with older men from the neighborhood petitioning for guardianship, recount tales of abuse they've suffered to judges. If the young men are under age 21, undocumented and unmarried, abused or abandoned by just one parent and say their lives will be better off in the United States, judges, having little recourse to verify their stories, most often approve the guardianship, paving a fast track to green cards for the men under the federal William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Act.