Making Immigration Happen
Chicago Woman Arrested for Selling Fraudulent Identity Documents to Illegal Aliens
A woman was arrested Wednesday, February 13, 2013, on charges she allegedly sold fraudulent identity documents to illegal aliens. These charges resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigra

Tag Archives: USCIS

Mass. RMV Worker Charged with Extensive Document Fraud

An employee of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles was charged Wednesday, July 18, 2012, with producing false driver’s licenses. The charge is the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Vanessa Peguero, 27, of Leominster, Mass., was charged with producing a false identification document. It is alleged that from February 2010 through June 2012, Peguero issued Massachusetts’ driver’s licenses to individuals who presented legitimate Puerto Rican identity documents in an identity other than their own. This was done in order to obtain Massachusetts’ driver’s licenses to conceal their true identities.

If convicted on these charges, Peguero faces up to 15 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

“Fraudulent documents give people the appearance of lawful immigration statuses and provides them with countless opportunities to which they are not entitled,” said Bruce M. Foucart, special agent in charge of HSI Boston. “Anyone who fraudulently obtains a genuine government ID may pose a threat to public safety. This type of criminal activity allows dangerous criminals to obscure their identities and cover their tracks. Given the potential national security and public safety implications – since this type of crime often allows individuals who may not be in this country lawfully to obtain legitimate U.S. identity documents – Homeland Security Investigations, along with our law enforcement partners in Massachusetts, will continue to aggressively target those participating in or facilitating these types of crimes.”

U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, District of Massachusetts, and Special Agent in Charge Foucart made the announcement July 18.

HSI places a high priority on investigating document and benefit fraud. These types of fraud pose a severe threat to national security and public safety because they create a vulnerability that may enable terrorists, criminals and illegal aliens to gain entry to and remain in the United States. Document and benefit fraud are elements of many immigration-related crimes, such as human smuggling and human trafficking, critical infrastructure protection, worksite enforcement, visa compliance enforcement and national security investigations. Document fraud, also known as identity fraud, is the manufacturing, counterfeiting, alteration, sale, and/or use of identity documents and other fraudulent documents to circumvent immigration laws or for other criminal activity. Identity fraud in some cases also involves identity theft, a crime in which an imposter takes on the identity of a real person (living or deceased) for some illegal purpose.

HSI’s Identity and Benefit Fraud Unit is charged with investigating and disrupting document and benefit fraud schemes. It coordinates its investigative efforts with other U.S. Department of Homeland Security components, such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, as well as other federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Labor. The unit also develops and advances policy initiatives and proposes legislative changes to address vulnerabilities in the immigration process to deter fraud and reduce the incentives for committing document and benefit fraud.

One of the fundamental challenges in combating document fraud at state-level department of motor vehicle (DMV) locations is the identification of employee misconduct. In order to enhance identification efforts, HSI developed an outreach campaign to raise awareness about employee misconduct and alert law enforcement to identity and benefit fraud schemes perpetrated at DMV facilities. HSI encourages the public and DMV employees to report corruption via the HIS tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE and via local DMV tip lines. Reporting this crime gives the public and employees an opportunity to be a part of the solution.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia M. Carris.

The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Indictment for Six in Illegal Cigarette Smuggling Ring

Six people were indicted in federal court Friday, June 1, 2012, for operating a smuggling ring that illegally imported cigarettes from Vietnam.

The charges resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), in cooperation with the following agencies: U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Nebraska Department of Revenue, Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles Fraud Unit, Nebraska State Patrol, Otoe County Sheriff’s Office and the Lincoln Police Department.

The following people were arrested: Teo Van Phan, Nhu Van Phan (aka Nhu Phan), Hoa
Van Huhyn (aka Wha Huynh), Kim Nguyen (aka Kim Thoa), Tang (Janny) Nguyen (aka
Thi Nguyen) and Thuy Nguyen. All the defendants are residents of the Lincoln area.

The 18-count indictment alleges the six defendants conspired between July 2010 and
May 15, 2012 to fraudulently import, receive, possess, conceal, buy and sell contraband cigarettes from Vietnam.

Court documents further charge the group with attempting to evade federal and state
taxes on the imported cigarettes (fraud), and with using the mail to import the cigarettes and evade taxes (mail fraud). The indictment also alleges the defendants directed packages of cigarettes, that bore no evidence of payment of taxes, be sent through international and U.S. Mail to Lincoln addresses; and that they then sold and distributed the untaxed cigarettes within the District of Nebraska. Many packages of the contraband cigarettes were labeled as gifts or presents.

Of specific note, Kim Nguyen and Tang (Janny) Nguyen were charged with shipping,
transporting, receiving and possessing more than 10,000 contraband cigarettes on dates in both December 2011 and March 2012.

“These cigarette smugglers tried to maximize their profits by cheating the U.S. government
and its citizens,” said Special Agent in Charge Michael Feinberg of HSI Omaha. “Fortunately, Homeland Security Investigations’ unique customs law enforcement authorities were designed specifically to target and investigate such criminals.”

“The defendants in this case conspired to evade the established cigarette tax laws
for the express purpose of self-enrichment; and in doing so they prevented the
legitimate collection of state and federal tax revenues,” said Adam Behnen, inspector in charge for USPIS. “Their trafficking in contraband cigarettes has been the focus of a coordinated and extensive investigation involving cooperation among numerous federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The grand jury indictment and subsequent arrest of six individuals exemplifies our efforts to ensure the U.S. Mail is not used as a means to further criminal enterprise.”

U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg praised the cooperation and efforts of local, state and
federal law enforcement agencies to investigate and present the case for federal prosecution. She also noted the investigation is continuing.

The indictment also alleges that if they are convicted for fraud and smuggling they
should forfeit the following: all the contraband cigarettes delivered to their residences, all U.S. currency seized from their homes, and any other property identified as proceeds or obtained as a result of their illegal conduct.

The charges carry possible maximum penalties varying from five to 20 years  imprisonment, a $250,000 fine (per count charged), three years of supervised
release, and special assessment fees.

Following their initial appearances in court, Teo Van Phan was released on terms and
conditions imposed by the court; the other five defendants were ordered detained
pending trial or further orders of the court.

The charges contained in the indictments are allegations, and the defendants are
presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Mexican National Wanted for Murder Deported

A Mexican national wanted for fleeing a homicide charge in his native country was
deported Tuesday, May 15, by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

Sergio Arturo Moreno-Perez, 37, a resident of Wichita, was flown to El Paso, Texas, on a charter flight from Louisiana. Upon his arrival at the Paso Del Norte Port-of-Entry in El Paso, ERO officers transferred him to the custody of Mexican law enforcement authorities to face homicide charges.

Morenois wanted by Mexican law enforcement officials for a homicide charge in Chihuahua, Mexico. A warrant for his arrest was issued by the Sixth Penal Judge of Bravos Judicial District in Chihuahua April 26, 2006.

Morenofirst entered the United States illegally in Texas in 1978, but later adjusted to  permanent resident status.

He was deported three times between 1995 and 2002, also having served a three-year
prison term for illegally re-entering theUnited States during this period.

Morenohas committed multiple criminal offenses in the Wichita area in addition to his immigration violations, including felony convictions for burglary, robbery and illegal re-entry after deportation. He was most recently sentenced in Sedgwick County,
Kansas, in 2005 to 96 months for the felony offense of aggravated robbery. This sentence ran concurrent with a second federal prison term following a second conviction for illegally re-entering the United States.

Upon his release from prison he was remanded to ICE custody where he remained until
he was handed over to Mexican authorities.

ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that targets serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities, such as those charged with or convicted of homicide, rape, robbery, kidnapping, major drug offenses and threats to national security. ICE also prioritizes the arrest and removal of those who game the immigration system including immigration fugitives or those criminal aliens who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the country.

Sample I.C.E. Notice to Removed Aliens Who May Be Seeking Judicial Review

Below is a sample I.C.E. notice regarding I.C.E. policy memo 11061.1, “Facilitating the Return to the United States of Certain Lawfully Removed Aliens,”:

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

NOTICE TO REMOVED ALIENS WHO MAY BE SEEKING JUDICIAL REVIEW

Alien’s Name: ______________

A#(s): ______________

You have received an administratively final order of removal from an immigration judge, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Generally, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is authorized to
execute your administratively final removal order, even if you have filed a petition for review (PFR) with a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging that order. In the event the court grants your PFR, ICE may decide to facilitate your return to the  United States following removal. It is your responsibility to follow any court rules about providing updated address and contact information while your PFR is pending.

Absent extraordinary circumstances, if you are removed while a PFR is pending, ICE
will facilitate your return to the United States under the following circumstances:

(1) If your case is remanded by the court for further administrative consideration and your presence has been ordered by the court or deemed necessary by ICE to resolve your administrative removal proceedings; or

(2) If the court’s order has restored you to lawful permanent resident or other status permitting you to be physically present in the United States.

If a decision is made to facilitate your return, the steps ICE will take in your case will depend on whether you will be returning to the United States by air or sea vessel, or by land from Mexico or Canada. ICE will not ordinarily make your travel arrangements or fund the cost of your return travel. If ICE facilitates your return to the United States because a court grants your PFR, you will revert to the immigration status you held, if any,
just prior to the administrative final removal order that the federal court has reversed or vacated. Please note that ICE may detain you upon your return, depending on the circumstances of your case.

Contact Information: If, based on this notice, you believe that ICE should facilitate your return to the United States, please have available your circuit court case number, alien registration number(s) listed above, and a reliable way for ICE to get in touch with you, and contact:

Office of the Public Advocate

Enforcement and Removal Operations

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

500 12th Street., S.w.

Washington, DC 20536

T: (202) 732-3100

EROPublicAdvocate@ice.dhs.gov

(Signature of ICE Officer serving order) (Printed Name and Title of ICE Officer serving
order)

(Signature of Alien) ____________  (Date)

Temporary Protected Status Extended for Nicaraguans

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals ofNicaraguafor an additional 18 months, beginning January 6, 2012, and ending July 5, 2013.

This 18-month extension also allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Eligible Nicaraguan TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register will receive a new EAD with an expiration date of July 5, 2013. USCIS recognizes that all re-registrants may not receive their new EADs until after their current EADs expire. Therefore, USCIS is extending the current TPS Nicaragua EAD bearing a January 5, 2012, expiration date for an additional six months, through July 5, 2012.

To re-register, current TPS beneficiaries must submit an Application for Temporary Protected Status, Form I-821. TPS re-registrants must also submit an Application for Employment Authorization, Form I-765, regardless of whether they are applying for an EAD. Re-registrants do not need to pay the Form I-821 application fee, but they must submit the biometric services fee, or a fee waiver request, if they are age 14 or older. TPS re-registrants applying for an EAD must submit the Form I-765 application fee, or a fee waiver request.

TPS applicants may request that USCIS waive any or all fees by filing a Request for Fee Waiver, Form I-912, or by submitting a personal letter. Failure to submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee waiver request will result in the rejection of the TPS application.

USCIS Improves Processing for Naturalization and Citizenship Forms

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is enhancing the filing process for select forms dealing with naturalization and citizenship (N-Forms). Beginning Oct. 30, 2011, the new process will allow individuals to file N-Forms at a secure Lockbox facility instead of our local offices. This change streamlines the way forms are processed, accelerates the collection and deposit of fees and improves the consistency of our intake process.

Individuals should begin submitting affected forms directly to the appropriate Lockbox beginning Oct. 30, 2011. Forms received by local USCIS offices during a transition period between Oct. 30 and Dec. 2, 2011, will be forwarded to the USCIS Lockbox facility for processing. Forms received at local USCIS offices after Dec. 2, 2011, will no longer be forwarded but will be returned to the individual with instructions on how to re-file at a designated USCIS Lockbox facility. USCIS will centralize intake of Forms N-336, N-600 and N-600K at the Phoenix Lockbox facility. The Dallas Lockbox facility will handle the Form N-300. Individuals filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, already file at a Lockbox facility.

The following table lists N-Forms affected by this filing change:

Affected N-Forms Date that Lockbox starts accepting N-Forms Last receipt date that local offices will forward N-forms to Lockbox
N-300, Application to File Declaration of Intention

N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings

N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship

N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

USCIS has updated the information on our N-Form Web pages regarding filing forms at a Lockbox to clearly identify this change in procedure. Please carefully read the form instructions before filing your form to ensure that you are filing the correct form type at the correct location. Any individual submitting the wrong form type for the benefit sought will not receive a fee refund. Instead, individuals will have to re-apply using the correct form and pay a new fee.