For an enrollment fee of several hundred dollars, the agent said, the new members would be able to travel freely in the United States as part of the tribe.
They would purportedly be protected against deportation and eventually could attain U.S. citizenship.
Malcolm Webber, also known as Grand Chief Thunderbird IV, said, however, that tribal leaders were investigating reports that an agent might have been charging more than the standard enrollment fee of $100 per family. Webber, who was reached in Wichita, Kan., said: "There's always a bad egg in the basket."
Even if the Kaweah tribe were federally recognized, adoption of adult immigrants without tribal blood ties would not be a route to citizenship, said Marilu Cabrera, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.