Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] apparently can’t deport illegals, but does what it can to make their lives easier. A recent report from the Orlando Sentinel reveals that ICE ignores immigration law even when directly dealing with illegals. More importantly, it shows that the “U Visa” and other Amnesty mechanisms for abuse claimants are unnecessary—because illegals are already being allowed to ignore the law.
This saga begins when the ICE Special Victims Unit operated as a “Bunko Squad” to investigate a notario—a person who assists illegals in fraudulently obtaining asylum and other benefits. The villain: an enterprising Venezuelan immigrant named Maria Virginia Constantinou, who is now facing six months in federal prison for falsely using the U.S. Seal. [Feds: Phony Lawyer Defrauded Immigrants Wanting To Fix Their Status, by Arelis R. Hernández, Orlando Sentinel, September 20, 2013]
However, while the federal government moved quickly to defend the symbols of state, it showed no such willingness to defend immigration law. Instead, the alleged "victims" won Administrative Amnesty. They will inevitably be allowed to remain in the U.S. permanently:
In exchange for their cooperation, some were given temporary stays from removal to work out their cases, Cutrell said.
ICE takes the position that illegals must have nothing to fear:
"Victims won't report these cases because they are afraid," said HSI special agent Ritchie Flores. "But we want people to come forward regardless of their status."
Of course, there was already a system in place to ensure illegal aliens receive justice. Illegals were temporarily allowed to remain in the United States until the end of criminal proceedings if they were needed to testify. They were just not awarded with permanent residency and they were deported afterward.
But this was changed with the allegedly humanitarian U Visa, which gives every victim of a crime everywhere in the world a legal right to be in the United States.
In this case, even the U Visa was apparently too slow for the Obamaites. Instead, it appears these illegals were simply paroled into the United States.
In other words, illegals are now essentially being encouraged to commit perjury because of the immigration benefits they can receive—in the same way as jailhouse snitches.
Indeed, the sob stories in this case make this experienced investigator suspicious.
First, some of the victims are claiming that they had legal status but were just attempting to renew their status:
Many victims were trying to renew their legal immigration status, such as a visa, but were caught up in the scheme and found themselves out of status, said Carissa Cutrell, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman.
But why would a legal immigrant be using a notario without an office instead of a lawyer, as they did when they obtained their first visa?
Let's look at the specifics.
There is nothing Roy Coniglio can do for his family of five. He came to the U.S. from Argentina in 2001 and, with a work visa, built a distribution business in Central Florida.
Work visa? More likely an E-2 Visa, This is an investor visa, for an executive of a company of substantial means and investment capability. It is not for people who are fooled by notarios without an office.
Yet the Orlando Sentinel story claims:
[T]here was a mistake in his immigration paperwork he didn't understand. He was defrauded by another phony lawyer and the deadline for filing his documents had passed.
Coniglio apparently had the intelligence to build a successful business. However there is some "mistake" in renewing the visa and a phony lawyer who accepts his money does nothing regarding the renewal. So what does our entrepreneurial immigrant do?
He met Constantinou in a café because she said her office was being "renovated." He paid her $8,000 —his wife's inheritance — to fix his situation. But months passed and the woman always had a different reason for why the case wasn't moving along. Soon, Coniglio found himself outside the law.
"Found himself outside the law." Hardly likely. Given the evidence presented in the newspaper account, let's consider a more likely story.
Coniglio is from Argentina, a country removed from the Visa Waiver program years ago when its economy collapsed. Coniglio decides to move to America. His best option is an E-2 Visa. He achieves some success in the United States, but he knows that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will notice that his business does not reach a real E-2 level investment. The business is small (Manta.com estimates its revenue as $100,000 annually and employees as “2”) with no level of management and skilled labor between his work and that of the unskilled or semi-skilled workers he manages.
He goes to an ill-defined "lawyer," but most likely it was a notario, as he cannot afford a real lawyer. Later, Coniglio tries another notario. He was not looking for a legitimate attorney who would file an honest application for the renewal of a visa. His visa had already expired and he and his family were now, by definition, illegal aliens. Because of possible irregularities with the application, only a notario will take the case.
The payment of $8K is also suspicious. Large sums handed over in a cafe are a desperation payment. Coniglio most likely knew his business was unable to qualify for the E-2 Visa and thought that the notario would be able to get it through somehow. What businessman would fall twice for the same fraud?
Then there's the Venezuelan couple. The Orlando Sentinel’s Hernández (email him) initially frames this as his lead sob story:
Reinaldo Bezara was returning home to Orlando on New Year's Eve in 2008 when, to his great bewilderment, he was accosted by law enforcement at the airport.
Authorities told him he was in the country illegally, gave him an immigration court summons and sent a shaken Bezara back to his Venezuelan immigrant family with the news they could be deported from the country they have called home for nearly a decade...
The 41-year-old entrepreneur fled Venezuela in 2004 after his daughter was kidnapped and his family threatened for participating in an anti-government movement. He arrived in Central Florida with his family and a friend recommended Constantinou to help him petition the government for asylum.
She took $12,000 from Bezara but failed to file a single piece of paperwork with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The documents Constantinou gave him appeared to have the proper seals but they were fake.
How could this detainment have happened? It seems this asylum applicant is flying back to the United States,—possibly from the country he was applying for asylum from? More importantly, how did he get on the aircraft headed to the United States?
No documents provided to an asylum applicant have official “seals.” After a claim of asylum, the alien and his attorney receive simply a receipt, a Form I-797C, Notice Of Action.
But Bezara boarded an aircraft. The only document he could have presented to board a flight to the United States was the tourist visa he presumably had when he first entered the United States in 2004. That means he was living in the United States with a tourist visa—and may have used that visa to visit the country where he was allegedly persecuted.
An asylum applicant is not allowed to travel outside the United States without Advanced Parole. An approved asylum applicant travels with a Refugee Travel Document. Neither, of course, allow travel back to where one is claiming persecution.
We don't know all the details. But there are grounds for suspicion.
ICE is either oblivious to immigration fraud—or conspiring with illegal aliens to violate the law.
The blogger Federale (Email him) is a 4th generation Californian and a veteran of federal law enforcement, including service in the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Department of Homeland Security, and other federal law enforcement agencies.
Federale's opinions do not represent those of the Department of Homeland Security or the federal government, and are an exercise of rights protected by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.