Green card scam – A Question of Connotation

Cross Posted From DeMediacratic Nation

When the media finally makes the crossover to just using the term “immigrant” to cover the whole lot, it is extremely difficult to discern the status of those involved. The subtext of the article title “Police say man posing as agent cheated immigrants out of thousands for bogus documentation,” implies “legal” immigrants….

It’s hard to say, are these illegal aliens/immigrants involved? Are these immigrants that have taken the legal route, yet worked with this Nevarez on the promise of expediting the bureaucracy?

Usage of various terms flow throughot the story where in the first paragraph of the story, they’re: “undocumented,” then “immigrants,” then “undocumented immigrants,” then “recent immigrants,” then they are “South and Central American immigrants,” then “victims,” and just finally “45 people.”

The promise of expediting the process for the “immigrants” is interesting because it sounds innocent and above board on the “immigrants” part. Further into the story though, it says “Nevarez created and filed paperwork for his victims – affidavits, school and hospital records – that falsely showed they were living in the country between 1982 and 1986. That time frame made them eligible for green cards – or permanent resident status in the United States – under a federal program.”

So is this just the scam process he used or is this part of the deal that they were aware of? Am I trying to read too much into this? I don’t think so, I just want to understand what the facts are and it is not readily, if at all, apparent.

From New York Newsday:

John Nevarez never worked a day as an immigration agent, but he did such a good job impersonating one that he was able to scam 45 undocumented immigrants out of nearly $300,000 in bogus green cards, officials said yesterday.

The career criminal, of Manhattan, operated out of an East Harlem storefront, where a crude sign read “Tickets R Us,” officials said. Using a Bronx pastor as an unsuspecting middleman, Nevarez, 53, charged $8,000 for the counterfeit documents, which he never produced. Threats of physical violence kept the victims, all recent immigrants, at bay, officials said.

“They were quite fearful of him,” said Lt. John Zerillo, commanding officer of the police department’s impersonation investigation unit, who investigated the crimes along with Manhattan prosecutors. “They thought this was a legitimate agent who … could expedite their paperwork.”

Nevarez was indicted at Manhattan Criminal Court yesterday and charged with possession of forged documents, grand larceny, criminal impersonation of a police officer and scheming to defraud, officials said. He faces more than 10 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Officials said Nevarez has 28 prior arrests for burglary, weapons possession and drug offenses, had served time in prison and was recently on state parole.

The probe began earlier this year, after one victim, suspicious of Nevarez’s violent threats, contacted authorities, police said.

Prosecutors said Nevarez created and filed paperwork for his victims – affidavits, school and hospital records – that falsely showed they were living in the country between 1982 and 1986. That time frame made them eligible for green cards – or permanent resident status in the United States – under a federal program.

A Bronx church pastor, who ran a community assistance program, along with the pastor’s secretary, unwittingly supplied Nevarez with a stream of equally unsuspecting South and Central American immigrants, officials said. Nevarez never dealt with walk-in customers.

Eventually, 45 people – who paid Nevarez a collective $288,000 – cooperated in the probe. Individual losses ranged from $3,000 to a high of $22,000, police said.

“We know there are additional victims out there,” said Zerillo, who with Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joanne Siegmund, is still investigating the case.

**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email the coalition and let me know at what level you would like to participate.**

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