The case was filed on behalf of Ignacio Lanuza Torres, and it details how an ICE employee knowingly manufactured evidence by forging a critical government document in an effort to prevent Mr. Lanuza from establishing that he qualified for lawful permanent residence (or “green card” status). The fraudulent document was submitted to an immigration judge who ordered Mr. Lanuza deported on the basis of the forged evidence. The deportation order was initially upheld on appeal but Mr. Lanuza was ultimately able to reopen his case after five years of litigation when the fraud was uncovered.
“We are deeply concerned that this incident may well indicate a broader pattern of unlawful conduct. The federal government must step up and conduct a thorough investigation of all the other cases handled by the culpable official in order to discover whether there are other victims.”
“I want to know why he would do this to me and my family,” said Mr. Lanuza. “I don’t know how you can be a government officer and break any laws, especially laws to give families a chance to stay together.”
NWIRP filed an administrative claim and a complaint with federal officials in February of this year. However, ICE denied the claim in August despite the clear evidence of fraud, and the agency has so far taken no action against the official responsible.
This is obviously a deeply troubling case of a government official abusing their position in an incomprehensible attempt to tear a family apart when our laws provided them an opportunity to stay together. And we are deeply concerned about others who may have been victims of similar abuse. The one positive aspect of the situation is that, with your support, we are in a position to challenge this abuse and help prevent ongoing fraud that will affect families in the future.