USCIS is fighting immigration fraud using data science

Excella recently won a $49.5 million contract to support the work of the agency's Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate.
USCIS, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently awarded a $49.5 million contract to support the work of the agency’s Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate.

Excella, an Arlington, Virginia-based tech consultancy, will help USCIS detect potential immigration fraud through advanced data analytics.

“This is a significant step for Excella and our partnership with DHS to enhance USCIS data capacity across the board, helping the agency better meet its mission and serve its millions of customers,” Dave Neumann, a partner at Excella, said in a statement. “This is a terrific opportunity to expand our work to create modern digital experiences with great federal partners like DHS.”

USCIS’ Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate exists to determine “whether individuals or organizations filing for immigration benefits pose a threat to national security, public safety, or the integrity of the nation’s legal immigration system.” To do this, FDNS must comb through a lot of data. For the next three years, Excella will be offering data scientists, machine learning algorithms and natural language processing capabilities to streamline this process.


Immigration fraud made the news recently in a much more made-for-TV fashion when eight suspects were indicted on charges of student visa fraud. USCIS caught these alleged fraudsters by setting up a fake university, the University of Farmington, as part of an undercover operation.

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