Law enforcement agencies can request a ”Significant Public Benefit Parole” for foreigners who assist with ongoing investigations. This benefit allows them to remain in the United States for one year. According to an article in the Austin American-Statesman, a former law enforcement official in Texas accepted payment from undocumented workers wanting temporary immigration status and pocketed the money, while lying about where the funds were going to be used.
Limited immigration benefits under the ”Significant Public Benefit Parole” were designed and intended by the U.S. government to be used for law enforcement purposes only. The article states that the former law enforcement official falsely represented to the government that several undocumented residents were assisting with an investigation into narcotics trafficking and human trafficking. He accepted cash bribes of between $10,000 and $40,000 from the workers requesting the limited immigration benefits. He also told them that the money would be used for expenses related to ”official business.” (Those ”official business” expenses were actually personal expenses.)
The 51-year-old man pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges. He is facing up to 20 years in prison.
Not only did this fraudster use his position to lie to his employer and the government, but he also lied to some pretty desperate people who wanted to enjoy the benefits of living in the United States. There’s no way to know if these undocumented immigrants would have opened the door to any security risks, but it is certain, that they were going about immigration the wrong way. The article doesn’t mention what happened to the undocumented workers, but kudos to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for holding this fraudster accountable for his actions.
Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Former Jarrell Police Chief Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges in Immigration Scam,” published by the Austin American-Statesman on February 7, 2014.
Andres Gutierrez, the former police chief of Jarrell, pleaded guilty this morning to federal fraud charges, admitting he accepted payments from undocumented workers to help them obtain temporary immigration status.
Gutierrez, 51, faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced.