Antonio Burgos, a 48-year-old Portland man, pleaded guilty of attempting to bribe a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer to have his wife, as well as a daughter, deported as they were getting divorced.
Burgos approached an ICE officer in Vancouver, Washington. He stopped the officer on the street, after following him from the office, requesting if he could help deport both his wife and daughter in exchange for money. He explained to the officer how he sponsored her residency in the US after their wedding in El Salvador but now wants her out of the country since they are getting divorced.
The ICE officer rejected the offer after which he reported the situation to the Office of Professional Responsibility. The office swung into action to bring Burgos to book. The officer was made to contact Burgos on a phone during which he offered to pay $3,000 to get his wife deported. The arrangement was made for them to meet in June to discuss things better.
During the meetup, Burgos promised to give the officer $4,000 in order to deport his daughter alongside her mother. He paid $2,000 in cash immediately and will balance up once the job is done.
Burgos was arrested after this for bribing a public official, an offense which carries a maximum of 15 years jail term. He will not be sentenced until May next year though.
A Lot of Unknowns
Both Department of Justice and Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the case last week, but none of them gave details of the wife’s legal status even when asked.
Many things are unknown about the woman; duration of their marriage, the reason for their divorce, whether she is still in the country or not and what she did that could warrant her husband wanting to have her deported. It is also unclear if the divorce alone already guarantees her deportation because it will take two years before a spouse whose visa is dependent on marriage can submit an application for Permanent Residency.
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