Three Paralegals Perpetrate Shocking New York Immigration Fraud

October 16, 2014 10:32 am
by David Jakeman

If you go to an immigration law firm and they want to coach you on ways of lying about your past, you probably want to go find someone else to work on your case. A recent conviction of three paralegals—Song Luo, Zeyuan Wang, and Yong Zhang1—shows that such practices can actually happen, and it wasn’t until 429 asylum cases were submitted that these three were arrested.

The Immigration Asylum Plan

The three men worked for an immigration law firm that had a pretty slick plan to subvert the immigration asylum process. First, the men would provide a thorough background check for potential clients, just to make sure that no red flags would be raised in the process. They also made sure that immigrants could pay them, making sure that their immigration scheme would bear monetary fruit.

Working for a Manhattan immigration law firm, the men helped clients lie about their stories on their applications. Some of their made-up stories told of forced abortions in China, while others claimed they would face religious or political persecution if they were forced to go back home.

After the creation of a story, the paralegals also worked as translators in the immigration court room. The paralegals working as translators served two purposes. The first was that it made sure the story was told in the most sympathetic way possible. The second was to ensure that the immigrants’ stories remained consistent with the story that had been used in the application process. That is something that is not always easy to do for a client that is making up a false story to justify the granting of asylum.

Upshot for Immigration Community

For immigrants, such stories should be warning signs that if someone wants to help you cheat the system, it’s probably not worth doing. Such people could also be trying to cheat the client, which is why it is important to get immigration services from trustworthy providers.

Immigration lawyers and immigration judges should also pay closer attention to immigration practices and stories. A good immigration attorney will know how to help their clients achieve the best results possible, regardless of the situation, but fraud is definitely not an option.