Immigration Fraud Led to Deportation Threats

According to the US government, a woman pretended to be a lawyer with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to defraud immigrants attempting to gain legal status in the US and then threatened to have them deported if they tried to complain.

Jessica Marie Rubio, also known as Jessica Garcia, claimed to be able to speed up the application process, hide criminal records from immigration authorities, and get immigrants out of detention, the seven-count indictment filed in a Gran Rapid US District Court claims. Rubio charged fees up to $30,305 in Michigan’s Western District and $45,740 in the Southern District of Texas, according to court records. In the indictment, which ran for 15 pages, Assistant US Attorney Clay West wrote that Rubio solicited immigrants without legal status to become their advocate by claiming that she worked with the Department of Homeland Security as either an attorney or an attorney employee.

The scheme was allegedly employed from late 2011 through to June 2018. Rubio moved to Texas in 2015, having resided in West Michigan. Her clients usually paid Rubio’s fees in cash.

The indictment says that Rubio told her clients that she would submit paperwork on their behalf to the Executive Office for Immigration Review in the Department of Justice, or to US Citizenship and Immigration Services but such forms were never filed. If they complained, Rubio threatened to notify a DHS attorney employee and have clients deported.