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Immigration fraud can refer to many unlawful acts, such as lying on immigration forms in order to get into the country to marrying fraudulently for immigration reasons. You can keep reading to learn about the various immigration fraud charges and contact Simmons Wagner, LLP at (949) 439-5857 for a free legal consultation.
Federal Immigration Fraud
Immigration fraud is charged at a federal level. The federal government takes immigration laws seriously and aggressively pursues those who are accused of any type of immigration fraud. The most common examples of this type of fraud include:
- Knowingly providing inaccurate information on an immigration form
- Marrying someone fraudulently with the goal of obtaining citizenship
- Marrying someone fraudulently in an attempt to help them gain entry into the United States
- Counterfeiting or altering an immigration document
- Using a false identity on any immigration document
- Knowingly providing false information about immigration status to gain employment
- Knowingly committing perjury or forgery
- Visa lottery fraudulent activity
- Unlawfully representing yourself as qualified to provide immigration-related services and/or legal advice to an immigrant
- Fraudulently representing yourself as an immigration lawyer
- Identity theft in order to complete a visa application.
Potential Consequences for Conviction of Immigration Fraud Charges
These are serious federal charges that can result in significant consequences. The specific amount of time a person might spend in prison, the fines they might face, and whether or not they are deported will depend on the specific crime they are accused of and the details of their case.
For example, if a person is convicted of a fraudulent marriage with the intention of gaining citizenship in the United States, they could face up to five years in person and/or fines of up to $250,000. A person convicted of using fraud to create or obtain visas could face up to 25 years in prison if the crime led to an act of terrorism or 20 years if the crime allowed for a drug trafficker to enter the United States.
Defense Options for Immigration Fraud Cases
Due to the many types of immigration fraud cases, there are many potential defenses that might work in any given case. Some common defense options include:
- Showing that proper documentation exists
- Proving that a supposedly fraudulent marriage is legal and valid
- Showing that the defendant had no intention to commit a crime
- Proving that the defendant had no knowledge that their actions were criminal
- Providing evidence that the fraud was committed under duress
- Presenting evidence that the evidence used against the defendant was obtained illegally and therefore should not be admitted
- Arguing that there is insufficient evidence to prove the crime
- Demonstrating that the defendant was the victim of entrapment
These are only some of the potential defense options. You can trust that at Simmons Wagner, LLP, we will take the time to listen to your case, assess the evidence, and work toward the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us at (949) 439-5857 for a free legal consultation.