Check this out:
Federal sting nets 83 arrests in suspected marriage-for-citizenship scam
A federal sting in Florida of four companies accused of arranging fraudulent marriages for U.S. citizenship, complete with faux wedding photos of brides in gowns and elaborate fake cakes, has netted more than 80 arrests, authorities said Friday.
Illegal immigrants, U.S. citizens and company officials were among the 83 people arrested. The business operators were charged with establishing a commercial enterprise to evade federal immigration laws, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. The sham couples, including the U.S. citizens, face charges of knowingly entering into a fraudulent marriage to evade immigration laws, also a felony carrying a maximum five-year penalty.
Robert Weber, the agent in charge of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Tampa, characterized the fraudulent marriages as a threat to national security. He noted the illegal aliens to whom the Americans in the scheme falsely were married came from 11 different countries, and several had criminal records. Weber also warned the criminal community that ICE was stepping up enforcement against marriage fraud. The agency investigated more than 5,200 such cases in 2006 and the first half of 2007, up from about 2,300 in 2004.
‘The bottom line,’ said Weber: ‘If you commit marriage fraud, whether as a United States citizen or one illegally in the country, you will become an ICE investigative target and be held accountable for such criminal activity.’
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That story puts a new spin on the phrase “shotgun wedding,’ doesn’t it?
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Here’s a link to the AP article on which this entry is based. As they say, read the whole thing. It’s worth a bit of time.