Half-hearted in Houston
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"She was realizing the American Dream, and this is a sad case"

What on earth is Prosecutor Greg Costa talking about? He was speaking at the sentencing of Yali Huang, a Houston immigration lawyer (and immigrant herself) who on Friday got four years in prison for operating a complicated and extensive visa fraud scheme for Chinese clients.

(Immigration lawyer gets fine, prison for visa scheme By Susan Carroll Houston Chronicle July 14 2007)

The facts need considering. Huang came to this country 19 years ago. Presuming she already was a graduate, getting a law degree and qualifying for the local Bar must have taken at least four years. She operated this scheme from 2000 to 2005 according to the Government (she was indicted early last year). This means almost half (at least) of her professional career was spent breaking the laws of her new country.

Is that the American Dream? This is not sad - it is outrageous. What would Huang had to have done more to merit the full ten years possible?

Other associated sentences were strange too. Perhaps not her assistant, legal resident Mary Liu, who got eighteen months on one count, but naturalized citizen Ping Lee Cohen who in some accounts seems the leader of part of the scheme got only ”about a year” by cooperating with the Prosecution. And ex-husband Kenneth Cohen, apparently the only US-born participant, just got probation.

As always, immigration illegalities will stop only when the authorities are serious about enforcing the laws. What, for instance, is happening about those individuals who benefited from the fraudulent visas?

Hat Tip, R.C.

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