Legal permanent residency in the United States is not a bargaining chip…[to] sell to the highest bidder…’
(John Wynne, Liberty Headlines) A former airline staffing executive was sentenced to a year in prison – for years of immigration fraud.
According to a press release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Eleno Quinteros, Jr. made hundreds of thousands of dollars from foreign laborers in exchange for allowing them to seek permanent residency status.
Less than half the money the laborers spent actually went to immigration attorneys to assist with the applications, while Quinteros kept an estimated $372,715 for himself.
“Legal permanent residency in the United States is not a bargaining chip that greedy employers can sell to the highest bidder,” said Adam Braverman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California. “This office will vigorously investigate and prosecute those who commit immigration fraud.”
Quinteros discovered how lucrative immigration fraud can be through his contact with Mexican aircraft mechanics, whom he recruited to the United States to work for his companies.
He would then help them obtain work visas.
Although Quinteros did well as a staffing executive for two companies, some of the workers he recruited were forced to pay as much as ten to twenty thousand dollars.
Some of them were forced to sell their homes and cars in order to come up with the money.
Quinteros plead guilty on August 10thto a single count of making a false claim in support of an immigration application, though substantially more documents were involved.
In addition to the year in prison, he must pay back almost $300,000 to his victims – at least the ones that can be identified.
Donna Campagnolo, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Los Angeles District Director, praised the work that led to the conviction.
“This is a perfect example of federal agencies working together to combat those trying to defraud the government. USCIC FDNS will continue playing a key role in USCIS efforts to safeguard the integrity of our immigration laws, protect American workers, and safeguard the Homeland.”
For more, read the full press release from ICE here.