Bummer: Illegal Aliens Defrauded By Lawyers Could Be Deported

They’re supposed to get deported. They’re here in violation of federal law, but this has given the NY Times a Sad

At the time, Martin Torres Reyes thought he had found a path to a green card.

It was early 2015, and Mr. Torres, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, heard about a lawyer who was promising legal permanent residency to people who had lived in the United States for 10 years and had American-born children.

Mr. Torres went to see the lawyer, Thomas T. Hecht, at his Times Square office, and for an initial fee of $750, the lawyer said that he would get a work permit in six months, and then some time later, the green card.

According to a lawsuit filed late Wednesday in Federal District Court in Manhattan, this was fraud. Mr. Hecht and his son, Leonard H. Hecht, the complaint said, tricked Mr. Reyes and at least 25 other undocumented immigrants from New York.

People violating the law got suckered by other people violating the law.

The plaintiffs all thought they were applying for a green card, but instead, they claimed in the suit that the lawyers filed different paperwork, for asylum, without their knowledge.

“Our community is under attack from all directions, and they know it,” Mr. Torres, 40, said in Spanish in an interview this week, referring to immigration lawyers. He paid a total of $1,100 to the Hechts in installments before leaving the firm.

Your community is in another country.

The 26 individuals who are plaintiffs in the suit, from Staten Island, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn, are now at risk of deportation, as the Trump administration has said that any immigrant living in the United States illegally is a target.

Not the Trump administration, but federal law. This isn’t just some arbitrary thing Trump is doing.

What is different about this lawsuit, said Stephen H. Legomsky, a professor of immigration law at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, is that it “shines a light on the victim,” he said, whereas the focus had mostly been on immigrants committing fraud to obtain a benefit.

They wouldn’t be victims if they weren’t in the United States illegally.

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3 Responses to “Bummer: Illegal Aliens Defrauded By Lawyers Could Be Deported”

  1. They were always at risk. They chose to accept the risk.

  2. Roger in Republic says:

    So he lives here for ten years and doesn’t speak English. What’s wrong with this picture?

  3. Some Hillbilly in St Louis says:

    Caveat emptor.

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