An admission and a green card

One Easter weekend a couple of years ago, a piece of news appeared that could be of importance to those interested in Immigration Law, as well as those interested in Evidence Law. The story came out of New York State and may contain practical lessons for federal immigration officials and immigrants seeking to obtain their green cards. The story involved an immigration officer who was recorded demanding sex from a young woman from abroad in exchange for him granting her a green card.

Those who know a little about immigration law understand that one of the quickest ways for an alien to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the United States, that is, obtain a “green card”, is to marry an American citizen. . Under this procedure, the alien becomes what is known as an “immediate relative” and does not have to wait for an immigrant visa to become available, a process that can sometimes take several years. Those who know a little about the law of evidence understand that in a criminal or civil proceeding a statement is not a rumor if it is a statement offered against another party and is the statement of that party. This is known as “admission.” As it is not rumored, such an “admission” would be admissible in the trial against whoever made it.

I understand? Of course yes. Now consider this.

On a Good Friday in March last year, an adjudication officer from the United States Immigration Service office in New York State was arrested on corruption charges. He had threatened to withhold an anonymous woman’s green card application and even threatened to deport her relative if she did not have sex with him.

The woman, who was married to a US citizen, admitted that she had given in to the officer’s initial demand for sex because she feared his threats. But she was smart! She used her cell phone, hidden in her purse, to record the sexual encounter and the conversation that preceded it. So she was even smarter. Days after the meeting, he went to the New York Times with the cell phone recording to tell his story. He then notified the New York district attorney about the matter. The officer was arrested and suspended from his job. Most likely, the case has been turned over to the feds for prosecution. A trial would be unlikely in this type of case. The case would be ripe for a quick plea deal and a faster guilty plea, in light of the recorded sexual encounter and his threats that could be used against him at trial as admissions.

We don’t really know the outcome of this particular case, but experience with the criminal justice system provides an idea of ​​the usual course for these types of cases. The officer would likely have been allowed to plead guilty to attempted extortion and abuse of office and, upon sentencing, would receive a 14-month sentence in a minimum security federal correctional institution. Also, of course, you would lose your job as an immigration officer. The woman married to an American would likely have obtained her green card and became a lawful permanent resident of the United States.

In real life, these types of cases only happen from time to time. In this case, the immigration officer was not very smart. As they say on the street, he literally “tripped” on his own manhood! During his likely sentence of a 14-month trip to a minimum-security federal correctional institution, the officer would not be locked in a single cell, but instead would be in a dormitory or “capsule” that would have a large gathering space for inmates. known as the “day room”. Each day that he would be incarcerated, perhaps he could “travel” to the prison day room and do penance for that “trip” that sent him there. Many would have done it before him.

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