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ICE Attorney Charged with Stealing Immigrant Identities
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Summary: ICE’s chief counsel in Seattle has been accused of stealing immigrant identities for financial gain.

One of the top lawyers for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been accused of stealing the identities of immigrants. According to Buzzfeed News, Raphael A. Sanchez was charged with one count of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in Seattle. Both charges are felonies.

  
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The indictment was filed this week, and it stated that Sanchez allegedly took the personal information from seven immigrants over four-years while they were having their cases processed. Information stolen includes social security numbers and birth dates.

On Monday, Sanchez resigned, according to the Justice Department. His resignation was submitted the same day he was indicted.

Sanchez allegedly took the immigrants’ information to open credit cards with American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Citibank, Discover, and JPMorgan Chase. He also allegedly used his official work email to forward confidential personal information of an immigrant to his Yahoo email address. This information included a Chinese passport and an electric bill.

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Sanchez’s misdeeds were caught by the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section which monitors corruption of public officials.

Sanchez was the top ICE attorney in Seattle, and the Washington Post said that in 2015, he negotiated a $2.25 million settlement with an apple orchard that was accused of hiring hundreds of undocumented immigrants.



Since President Donald Trump entered the White House, ICE has been busy cracking down on illegal immigration, and there have been numerous raids across the country, at private residences and at businesses such as 7-11.

Liberal areas in states such as California and Washington have declared themselves sanctuary jurisdictions, and they refuse to cooperate with the federal government’s anti-immigration policies. In response, the government has targetted some of those states’ sanctuary cities for large raids.

The federal government has said that they are fighting illegal immigration for the sake of national security. Local government leaders who are opposed to the heightened call for deportation said that they too care about safety but that they were not into the idea of deporting non-threatening people.

“We will, as always, work with our federal partners in every respect to go after drug dealers, human traffickers, potential terrorists,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said to CBS News in January. “We’re not in the business of deportation. We’re in the business of public safety.”

Sanchez is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday. He is being represented by attorney Cassandra Stamm.

What do you think of Raphael Sanchez? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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