Miami Judge rules fake immigration document to get Florida license doesn’t break law…
MIAMI, March 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Attorney Elan I. Baret and his associate attorney Nicole Sanchez represented Rubman Ardon Chinchilla, a roofer and father of three who has lived illegally in the United States for 16 years, used a phony immigration document to get a Florida driver’s license, a crime agents say was organized by a conman posing as a government officer. Chinchilla claimed that he believed the document to be real.
A Miami federal judge has now thrown out criminal charges against Chinchilla, saying there’s no actual law that says the form can even be used to prove an “authorized stay in the United States.” It’s a highly technical legal argument, but Attorney Baret and Sanchez were able to argue it due to their experience in Immigration and Criminal defense law. Their victory opened the door for the others arrested in the sting to beat their cases, and maybe even stay in the United States.
The criminal probe into the fake orders was conducted by agents from Homeland Security Investigations, or HSI, and the Identity, Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force. The task force, run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is a nationwide effort to crack down on document fraud that “may enable terrorists, other criminals and illegal aliens to gain entry to and remain in the United States.”
Investigators say the “mastermind and ringleader” of the scam was a Cuban-American resident named Valois Nuñez, who posed as an immigration agent and charged undocumented workers $2,000 for the bogus orders.
He asked undocumented immigrants to provide birth certificates and passports, photos and their personal details, even having them put their fingerprints on the forms. He also instructed them to go to specific DMV branches. Sometimes Nuñez accompanied them to the DMV to turn in the forms, federal prosecutor Yisel Valdes wrote in one court motion.
“They are being conned by these people,” lawyer Elan Baret stated. “The government, instead of focusing on the people who take advantage of these desperate immigrants, they arrest the victims.”
Baret and attorney Nicole Sanchez challenged the indictment, saying that there wasn’t any actual law or regulation that allowed for the relatively common form to be used at the Florida DMVHS. As proof, they pointed to a 2013 case in which a California appeals court threw out the conviction under the same law for a Chinese man who got two driver’s licenses while living in the U.S. commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
If the decision stands, and Chinchilla remains conviction free, his lawyers believe they might be able to keep him in the US legally with his USC children.
SOURCE Baret Law Group, PA