A federal jury in Boston has found a former top U.S. Department of Homeland Security official guilty of encouraging her Brazilian housekeeper to remain in the United States illegally.
Lorraine Henderson was a regional director of homeland security, customs and border protection. She was responsible for stopping illegal immigrants from entering the country through Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
The 52-year-old Henderson was convicted Monday. During a six-day trial, prosecutors accused her of violating the immigration law she had taken an oath to uphold.
From the NY Times:
For the illegal immigrants who came to the lawyer, the benefits were immediately apparent. The immigrants, many of whom were from Pakistan and India, were able to live out in the open, work, pay taxes and travel abroad. And of course there was the glimmering prospect of a shortcut to citizenship.
The lawyer, Thomas Archer, was taking advantage of a two-year window that allowed longtime illegal immigrants — those who came to the country before 1982 and remained through 1988 — to apply to become legal residents and to live out in the open while the applications were pending.
Over the course of a year and a half, Mr. Archer, who worked in Queens, submitted applications for more than 230 illegal immigrants, charging his clients $1,500 to $2,500 each. None of them were approved. And on Wednesday, Mr. Archer was convicted of visa fraud for preparing and filing those applications and, prosecutors claimed, encouraging his clients to lie.
Mr. Archer’s former assistant, Rukhsana Rafique, who speaks Urdu and was responsible for communicating with many of the defendants directly, was also found guilty. Mr. Archer faces a maximum sentence of 35 years, and Ms. Rafique faces a maximum sentence of 25 years.