A Pakistani man who now resides in Columbus, Ohio, was convicted last month (in January of 2016) of unlawful procurement of U.S. citizenship by a United States District Court jury. The charges assessed accused the man, one Maqsood Haroon, age 41, of making false statements throughout the naturalization process.
Fraudulent Statements Made
As stated above, the United State District Court jury found Haroon guilty of making fraudulent statements throughout the naturalization process. Specifically, according to information published by the U.S. Department of Justice, Haroon entered the United States on a visitor’s visa prior to marrying a U.S. citizen. Haroon claimed that he was not married at the time of his marriage to the U.S. citizen; however, he was already previously married to a Pakistani woman (residing in Pakistan), and even had children.
Citizenship and Naturalization Fraud Not Tolerated
Committing fraud is illegal, and as is demonstrated by Haroon’s conviction, carries serious legal penalties. Under 18 U.S. Code § 1546, fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents in punishable by a prison sentence and monetary fine.
Marlon V. Miller, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), was quoted by the Justice Department as saying, “Committing fraud to obtain citizenship or any U.S. immigration benefit represents an egregious breach of the nation’s legal system and is a blatant affront to those who play by the rules. HSI will continue to aggressively move against those engaged in such criminal acts.”
If You Are Facing Criminal Charges as an Immigrant in the United States
If you are an immigrant to the United States who is seeking naturalization or other immigrant benefits, it is important that you do so legally. While the legal process can be tedious and extensive, committing fraud carries severe penalties and may result in the permanent revocation or prevention of your status as a naturalized U.S. citizen.
If you are already facing criminal charges for immigration fraud or another immigration offense, it is within your best interest to hire an experienced immigration attorney. An immigration attorney can advocate for your rights and help you to obtain a deportation stay.
Take Action to Protect Your Future Now
Being charged with an immigration crime is serious, and may have a large impact on your future. Do not leave your fate up to chance – contact an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible. Serving both Boston and Los Angeles, the immigration lawyers of the Law Offices of Joshua L. Goldstein, P.C. are ready to get to work on your case today. Call our offices or use our online form to contact us now and request a case consultation. We will do everything possible to ensure your rights as an immigrant to the United States are protected!