High School Imposter Easily Exploits Lax Immigration System

In a national security snafu, a 23-year-old illegal alien from Ukraine, Artur Samarin, exploited the immigration system and was enrolled in Harrisburg’s John Harris High School under the alias Asher Potts for four years.

Samarin, who was a 20-year-old high school graduate and had completed two years of college, originally arrived in the United States on a temporary Exchange Visitor Visa.  The J-1 Visa is used by foreign nationals who want to participate in an exchange visitor or internship program. It is intended for students seeking practical training that is not available in their home country.  The J-1 Visa obligates students to return to their home country after the end of their three-month program.  However, Samarin circumvented this process by applying for, and, receiving a B-2 Tourist Visa.

By the time his B-2 Visa expired in March 2013, Samarin had already used a fake birth certificate and Social Security number to attend Harris High.  Like all school systems across the country, Harrisburg School District is prohibited by law from making inquiries related to a student’s immigration status for enrollment purposes. However, this case highlights the woeful inadequacies in our immigration system.

Samarin’s success in obtaining both the birth certificate and a Social Security card demonstrate a clear need for tighter policies surrounding issuance of such important documents.  It is unfathomable that an illegal alien could visit several different Social Security Administration offices and then procure a Social Security card.

Equally troubling is the ease by which nonimmigrant foreign nationals are able to overstay their visas.  Had a biometric entry/exit screening system been in place at all ports of entry, as mandated by Congress in 1996, the fact that Samarin overstayed his visa would not have gone completely unnoticed by immigration authorities. Remarkably, it took an anonymous tip to the police regarding Samarin being in the country illegally and having sex with female students to even garner the attention of federal immigration officials.  Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) nailed it when he said that the United States sends a message to the world that you can get away with overstaying your visa.  It defies reason that the federal government refuses to investigate 99 percent of nonimmigrant foreign nationals who enter the country legally but overstay their visas even though Congress has mandated biometric entry/exit screening.  Samarin serves as a clear example why it is imperative to implement these biometric requirements immediately.

About Author


Shari Rendall brings to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) over 15 years of experience in government relations and grassroots advocacy. In her former position, Shari led the legislation department in coordinating lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill and briefing congressional and administration staff on a wide range of issues. She has also been responsible for grassroots communications and helping state associations devise their legislative strategies. She began her time in D.C. working on Capitol Hill in the office of former Sen. Bob Smith (R-New Hampshire) as a Legislative Aide.


  1. avatar
    Not Politically Correct on

    This is a good reason why school districts SHOULD be allowed to question the immigration status of students and parents. Why should I as a taxpayer have to pay for the education of an illegal immigrant or their anchor baby.

  2. avatar

    And They Make a Big Deal out of Accusing Trump of “Civil” Fraud?

    The whole ESTABLISHMENT attack on Trump sounds like a mad magazine WWIII….where their open border “criminal” fraud is swept under the rug?


  3. avatar

    I just shows how bad our immigration system is under this administration. Obama has ordered our Immigration department to ‘Stand Down’ Sooner or later his decision will lead to many Americans deaths. If we do not know who is crossing our borders, it will be just as easy for a terrorist.

    • avatar

      Obama’s appointee to head the recently-unionized Border patrol said that if they don’t like their orders from Obama to give illegals free passage they can find another job!

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      Really….si all this happened in the last 8 …years…. N Obama makes all the decisions!?….hahahaha!!?

  4. avatar

    If this guy actually attended John Harris High School for 4 years, he is lucky to still be alive.

  5. avatar

    Japan has implemented biometric entry/exit screening at all its ports of entry so there is no reason the US can’t too.

  6. avatar

    There’s a story out about a flight school student from Egypt who posted on Facebook that he would off Trump even if it meant he did life in prison. Now he’s been ordered deported and he’s ever so sorry and wants to stay. Maybe Trump has a point about certain people.

    It’s interesting that the GOP insisted that Trump sign a pledge to support the nominee, but now that it appears it may be him, they’re trying to stop him in every way possible.

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      Do note that Mr. Trump was most active in businesses that promote illegal immigration, hotels and construction. I know of not a thing that he did to control the illegals at the businesses he owned or had working for his businesses.

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      He is still being allowed to stay until July. He wasn’t just deported. That is an issue too.

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      The government is not inept, its actions are intentional. This is drive for voters.