Former immigration prosecutor gets month’s jail time for forgery

On Wednesday, a former immigration prosecutor for Immigration and Customs Enforcement was sent to prison for a month after having been caught forging a document in order to make it appear that a Mexican citizen was ineligible to remain in the United States.

In January, Jonathan Love pleaded guilty to federal prosecutors on the misdemeanor charge of having a Mexican man deprived of his rights following a plea agreement. Love previously held the position of the Seattle Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s assistant chief counsel until he resigned at the beginning of the year. Back in 2008, Love was given a deportation case relating to Mexican construction worker Ignacio Lanuza, who was an undocumented immigrant.

Lanuza claimed that he was eligible to gain residency in the United States given that he had resided there for over a decade and was married to someone with US citizenship. At the 2009 hearing, however, Love informed the immigration judge that in 2000 Lunaza had signed a waiver, known as an I-826 form, after being stopped at the Nogales border. The signing of this form made Lunaza ineligible to ask for the cancellation of his deportation. Love even showed the court a copy of the form.

Lanuza argued that he had no memory of signing the form, but the judge ruled him ineligible. Taking his case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a forensic document examiner found the form was actually a forgery. Lanuza has since been granted permanent residency.