The Case of Manoj Kargudri

Three Years of Fraud in the U.S.

By Janice Kephart and Bryan Griffith on December 1, 2009


WASHINGTON (November 2009) – The Center for Immigration Studies is releasing the third video in its series Border Basics by Janice Kephart, Three Years of Fraud in the U.S.: The Case of Manoj Kargudri.

Following closely on the heels of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s announcement that she is looking forward to working with Congress on “comprehensive immigration reform,” Janice Kephart explores how the agency that would be responsible for carrying out an amnesty of 12 million illegal aliens still cannot ferret out fraud in a single simple employment petition even eight years after 9/11.

Kephart examines the case of Manoj Kargudri, an Indian national who exploited simple loopholes in our immigration system five times over three years to enter and remain in the United States. Kargudri was finally stopped at the San Antonio airport on August 28, 2008, by the Transportation Security Administration. He was not stopped because of his immigration violations, but rather because he had a one-way ticket to Washington and in his carry-on luggage were box cutters and a homemade battery strapped to his MP3 player. Luckily, he turned out not to be a terrorist, but the fraud in the immigration system allowed Kargudri to obtain a visa and enter and stay in the United States for three years before he was finally arrested and deported.

Kephart concludes that while Kargudri’s employment fraud is largely solvable, the agency responsible for adjudicating immigration benefits, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, has been making unfulfilled promises for years about upgrading its systems to effectively reduce application fraud. In a broader context, the Kargudri case raises more questions about the soundness of pursuing amnesty within a bureaucracy where applicant fraud still runs rampant.