Washington, D.C.: According to U.S. immigration authorities there could be thousands of human rights violators and war criminals living as illegal immigrants in the United States. Some of them have even been able to get into the U.S. with legal authorization. Locating and removing these criminals is nothing new for immigration enforcement officers, but lately the authorities have stepped up their efforts. The Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center opened in 2009. That is where legal experts, historians and investigators work side by side to uncover and locate those who have committed war crimes or violated human rights. The center is run by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and its efforts have facilitated the capture of several noteworthy criminals who were living under cover in the U.S. after having killed hundreds, or in some cases even thousands of people. 28 people work full time at the ICE center, and so far they have come up with a list of over 3,000 suspected war criminals or human rights violators. However, the laws are often not sufficient to prosecute offenders for their war crimes, and instead many of them are convicted of visa fraud or perjury; even jaywalking. For example, a war criminal that lies about not having a criminal record in his home country got convicted of visa fraud, sentenced to jail and eventually faces deportation back to his native country where he will be put on trial for human rights violations.
Washington, D.C.: In the future, it could be possible to obtain Permanent Resident status in the United States by buying a house. Two U.S. Senators, one Democrat and one Republican, have worked together on a bill that would make a green card available to a foreigner who invests $500,000 in real estate in the United States. One of the two senators, Charles Schumer, Democrat from New York, says that offering green cards for real-estate investments is a way to boost demand in the market with no cost to the government. The market for U.S. property is already growing abroad, while the demand among local buyers remains low. A weak U.S. dollar combined with low prices on American real estate has contributed to a 24 percent rise in properties bought by foreigners last year, compared to the year before. The National Association of Realtors says foreigners bought $82 billion-worth of homes in the U.S. last year. At the same time, potential house buyers in the U.S. hesitate to buy because they worry about the job market, or because they have less money than before. Americans who already own a home would have to sell at considerable loss if they were to buy a new house. This has led house prices to drop 32 percent since 2006. The National Association of Realtors also says that U.S. house sales to foreigners are divided between people who just recently relocated to the United States, and those who live abroad, and they suggest that many who buy American property do it with the intent to immigrate. The possibility of obtaining a resident visa along with property could work as an extra incentive for those who are already interested in moving to the U.S.