Lopez uncovered national-security cases tied to immigration loopholes. The FBI sought these cases from her in 2016, and she twice presented them at White House meetings in 2018.
Lopez first warned congressional leadership of the loopholes in 2006 and the national-security cases in 2012. Rather than let the temporary loopholes expire, congress and the president made them permanent law in 2013.
The loopholes allow foreigners to bypass background checks, hide national-security threats, waive criminal activities, and get fast-tracked citizenship.
Lopez testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee about her own case in 2017. She was almost killed by her Dutch husband after she sponsored him into the United States. He admitted marrying her for a green card, then attacked and terrorized her to keep her quiet. The State of New Jersey put her in hiding for her safety.
The Department of Homeland Security warned he was "dangerous," but refused to enforce his fraudulent immigration status despite his extensive criminal activities.
Lopez counting off ex-husband's criminal and deportable offenses (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee)
Lopez has worked with and organized hundreds of fraud victims from around the country to lobby for immigration reform. She also helped get their stories to various media outlets.
She set up the first website on the Internet addressing immigration fraud issues: ImmigrationFraud.com.
Elena is a former political journalist and financial writer.
Over the years, Lopez has become a resource for government investigators, academics, think tanks, attorneys, journalists and fraud victims looking for information, data and research on the immigration system and fraud.
USA Today, NBC, Fox, The Arizona Republic, American Spanish-language media and the international press covered her story.
Since 2017, she's been interviewed by almost 60 national and local radio hosts about her story and the national security implications of ignoring widespread immigration fraud.
In 2016, homeland security officials warned Lopez about the “dangerous man” she married and sponsored into her country. By the time the feds issued this warning, Lopez already knew he was dangerous: She was living in hiding with the help of state officials.
Years earlier, Lopez fled her own home after her then-husband tried to strangle her and pulled a firearm on her. When local police and her district attorney refused to press charges, Lopez desperately sought help from a retired FBI agent. Together, they found out she sponsored a violent criminal into the United States -- and they documented it.
Lopez's former husband:
To add insult to injury, her husband then became eligible for a special “domestic-violence green card." To get this fast-tracked green card, one simply claims they're abused by an American. No evidence, interviews or investigations are required; Americans are barred from being interviewed or providing evidence. (Meaning Lopez and the retired FBI agent wasted time, energy and money collecting evidence.)
This unique type of green card is coveted since it also waives fraud, criminal activities and inadmissibility, and these green cards can’t be revoked -- even when flagged by national security investigators.
A special social-work unit makes these homeland security decisions, thus barring trained immigration investigators from the process. (See 2002 Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS) memo after investigators tried to revoke fraudulent "domestic-violence green cards"; See followup 2010 DHS memo after investigators again tried revocations based on fraud.)
Lopez’s abuse? By refusing to sign his final immigration papers and reporting him to immigration authorities, Lopez subjected her foreign husband to “extreme cruelty” based on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). [See "Immigration Control as Abuse"; AllLaw] This landmark domestic-violence law has become the easiest way for criminals and fraudsters to get fast-tracked green cards and U.S. citizenship.
Congressional investigations recently confirmed widespread fraud for such green cards. Lopez’s whistleblowing triggered the congressional investigation and report.
Lopez remains in hiding to this day. Meanwhile, her former husband continues living openly in the United States. Despite this man's clearly documented violence, criminal activities and fraud, the Department of Homeland Security gave a green card to someone the agency itself identified as “dangerous.”
He remains eligible to renew his fraudulent green card or apply for U.S. citizenship, which he might have already attained.
Lopez was the lead witness for U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on immigration fraud (2017)