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Enforcement and Removal
01/29/2015

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Lebanese national deported after admitting fraud in obtaining immigration benefits

Lebanese national deported after admitting fraud in obtaining immigration benefits
ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations officers effect the removal of a Lebanese national at Detroit Metro Airport Thursday. Mahmoud Bazzi admitted in immigration court he entered the United States in the 90s without proper documentation and lied to obtain lawful immigration status in the country.

DETROIT — A Lebanese man, who admitted he entered the United States without proper documentation and lied to obtain lawful immigration status in the country, was deported Jan. 29 to his home country. The removal is the culmination of an enforcement action by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) with assistance from ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center and ICE Detroit’s Office of the Chief Counsel.

Mahmoud Bazzi, 71, who is a native and citizen of Lebanon, admitted Aug.11, 2014, in immigration court proceedings that he repeatedly provided false and misleading testimony and submissions in order to obtain status in the United States.  Following his admissions, the immigration judge ordered Bazzi removed from the United States and he was turned over to ERO to await deportation.

According to his admissions in immigration court, Bazzi entered in 1994 without the proper documentation necessary to authorize his admission to the United States and, thereafter, provided false information to the U.S. government in proceedings that led to a grant of permanent residence status.

Bazzi was transported Thursday to Beirut from Detroit under escort by ERO officers. He was turned over to Lebanese authorities Friday.

“ERO will continue to focus enforcement resources on individuals who lie and commit fraud to gain status in the United States,” said Rebecca Adducci, field office director for ERO Detroit. “This removal should provide a stark warning to those who seek to game the system to obtain immigration benefits.”   

“This removal is the culmination of a sophisticated and meticulous investigation by several ICE components,” said Marlon Miller, special agent in charge of HSI Detroit. “ICE is committed to ensuring the United States does not serve as a safe haven for individuals seeking to distance themselves from their pasts.”  

ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center investigates human rights violators who try to evade justice by seeking shelter in the United States, including those who have participated in war crimes and acts of genocide, torture and extrajudicial killings. These individuals may use fraudulent identities to enter the country and attempt to blend into communities in the United States. Members of the public who have information about foreign nationals suspected of engaging in human rights abuses or war crimes are urged to call the toll-free HSI tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or to complete its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. To learn more about the assistance available to victims in these cases, the public should contact ICE's confidential victim-witness toll-free number at 1-866-872-4973. Tips may be provided anonymously.

Since fiscal year 2004, ICE has arrested more than 296 individuals for human rights-related violations under various criminal and/or immigration statutes. During that same period, ICE obtained deportation orders and physically removed more than 650 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States. Currently, HSI has more than 165 active investigations, and ICE is pursuing more than 1,800 leads and removal cases involving suspected human rights violators from 97 different countries.

Over the last four years, ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crime Center has issued more than 66,000 lookouts for people from more than 111 countries and stopped 161 human rights violators or war-crime suspects from entering the United States.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 01/30/2015