A 24-year-old Mexican national was recently apprehended by U.S. national
security officials after they discovered that he assumed the identity
of a fellow Border Patrol agent. In the immigrant’s possession was
a Social Security card, driver’s license, and birth certificate
in the name of the agent.
O. Castaneda-Diaz was riding a bus bound for Houston when he was stopped
at about 1 a.m. Castaneda-Diaz said that he paid $2,000 for the documents
in Mexico before he illegally crossed the border on April 12. He went
so far as to shave his head in order to look more like the Border Patrol
agent depicted on the driver’s license.
Castaneda-Diaz is charged with making a false claim to U.S. citizenship.
See 18 U.S.C. § 911. If an immigrant makes a false claim to citizenship,
for immigration purposes it can be a removability ground, and considered
a crime of moral turpitude.
What are the consequences?
Under U.S.C. § 911, anyone who falsely and willfully claims to be
a U.S. citizen shall be fined, or imprisoned for a maximum of three years, or both.
Document fraud is covered under 8 U.S. Code § 1324c. Under this section,
the civil penalties for a first time offender range from $250 to $2,000
for each document that is the subject of the violation.
In some cases, the Attorney General may decide to waive these penalties
with respect to an alien if he or she is granted asylum under Section
1158, or withholding of removal under Section 1231(b)(3).
Castaneda-Diaz is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday for a detention hearing.
Federal immigration officials argue that document fraud poses a severe
threat to public safety and national security; it also allows immigrants
to illegally enter and stay in the United States.
Recently, over a dozen illegal immigrants were arrested in Texas for using
false documents so they could work. They are at risk of deportation and
spending up to 20 years in federal prison.
Seek Help from a Plano & Dallas Immigration Lawyer
Many immigrants are unaware of the risks of pretending to be a U.S. citizen.
If an immigrant falsely claims to be a U.S. citizen in an effort to receive
state or federal benefits, he or she may be deported.
If you or someone you love is being accused of making a false claim to
U.S. citizenship, one legal strategy may be seeking cancellation of removal
in Immigration Court.
To discuss your case with a Plano
immigration attorney, don’t hesitate to contact
The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC. We would be glad to answer your questions and steer you in the right