A Miami immigration consultant is facing federal charges after authorities said she helped foreign national men fraudulently obtain their United States green cards by brokering their marriages to Cuban-born women living in South Florida.
Yamira Sanchez, 47, is charged with one count of conspiring to commit marriage fraud and five counts of unlawfully encouraging an alien to reside in the United States, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida.
Prosecutors said Sanchez is the owner of Immigration Consultant and Immigration Corp., a South Florida company that offered immigration application and other services to the public.
Sanchez and her alleged co-conspirators would arrange fraudulent marriages between men from Italy with no legal status in the U.S. and women who had been born in Cuba, immigrated to the United States, and obtained legal status here as U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, prosecutors said in an indictment unsealed this week.
Because the women had been born in Cuba, the Cuban Adjustment Act allowed them to seek expedited immigration benefits for their foreign national husbands, in the form of immediate legal permanent residence in the United States, in most cases, officials said.
The men would pay thousands of dollars to be married to one of the women Sanchez and others recruited, allowing the men to permanently reside and legally work in the U.S., prosecutors said.
Sanchez, through her company, prepared, notarized, and filed the marriage and immigration paperwork necessary to secure immigration benefits for the Italian men, according to the indictment.
Also charged are five Italian men and five phony brides. They face charges including conspiracy and marriage fraud.
Sanchez and the other defendants made their first appearances in federal court this week, and have been released on bond. Attorney information was unknown.
If convicted, Sanchez faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
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