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Miami (CNN) - All Luis had to do was hand a Cuban birth certificate to immigration officials and he was on his way to becoming a U.S. citizen.
"I started to receive my work permission, I went to the DMV, got my driver's license, I get my Social Security and that was it," he said.
Those are the privileges afforded to Cubans who flee the Castro regime and make it to the United States to seek asylum.
But Luis, who asked CNN not to use his real name, was not entitled to the privileges. He's Venezuelan, not Cuban. The forged birth certificate he said he bought for $10,000 was enough to pass initial scrutiny and he was able to live free and clear in the United States for years.
Luis is not alone. Pretending to be Cuban has become a trend in visa fraud, according to Alysa Erichs, special agent in charge of theU.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations office in Miami.