A former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement attorney pleaded guilty Friday after prosecutors said he forged a document to make it look like a Mexican citizen who wanted to stay in the U.S was not eligible to do so. Jonathan M. Love pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of depriving the rights of the Mexican man after reaching a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.
The case involved Ignacio Lanuza, who said he was in the country illegally but eligible for an exception because he was married to an American citizen and had been in the country for more than 10 consecutive years. Mr. Love acknowledged in federal court that he got the case in 2009 and forged a document making it appear like Lanuza had left the country around 2000 and did not meet the eligibility requirement.
The punishment in the plea agreement doesn’t stand out as being nearly severe enough. The plea agreement states that Love can’t practice law for 10 years and must pay Lanuza $12,000 in restitution, and a 30 day jail sentence followed by a year of supervision and 100 hours of community service. A judge, however, will have the final say on his sentence at a hearing scheduled for April 20th. ICE officials have confirmed that Love resigned from the agency in November.
If anyone in the Seattle area has any immigration related issues that they feel may have been tainted by unethical involvement with this regional office, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If you were in removal proceedings and suspect any fraudulent documentation in your case, contact us for a consultation to see if reopening your case may be viable.