Atlanta Immigration Attorney, and White House Honoree, in Hot Water

October 8, 2014 2:24 pm
by David Jakeman

This year Youn was charged with visa fraud and witness tampering. It looks like the White House may have made a bad bet when they made the award to Youn, and it also displays how difficult it can be for officials to catch immigration fraud.

The U.S. Attorney General’s Case

The U.S. attorney’s office based in Atlanta has pressed charges against Youn, arguing that for the past five years, Youn has encouraged her immigrant clients to live in the United States for her own financial advantage. The U.S. attorney in Atlanta also contends that Youn created false documents for her clients to file federal government work, often to obtain legal status.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Atlanta also charges that in addition to falsified documents, Youn helped and pressed her clients to lie to federal officials. While these charges are certainly serious, it must be made clear that at this point Youn has pleaded not guilty. It remains to be seen whether or not she will be found guilty of such crimes.

White House Award

When Youn was awarded the “Champion of Change” at the White House last year, she was in select company. The award is described as being reserved for special recognition for individuals who are performing “extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.”1 It is quite possible that Youn herself was trying to out-innovate federal immigration enforcement officials.

The White House has refused to comment on the issue, and it has referred questions to the Justice Department. Youn is no longer being considered a “Champion of Change,” and it will be interesting to see if she will be reinstated if she is found innocent. At this point, Youn has pleaded not guilty, and she and her defense attorney plan on fighting the charges.

Good immigration lawyers can make mistakes. They can also face false accusations from clients. It is important for both immigration attorneys and their clients to make sure they are doing the best to follow the law and work within the system; if not, they can face large repercussions that can impact them for the rest of their lives.