Written 03/24/08

This Easter weekend Birdsong became aware of a story that might be of interest to
students of Immigration law and Evidence law. The story comes out of Queens, New York and may hold object lessons for federal immigration officers and immigrants seeking to obtain their green cards. The story involves a immigration officer who was recorded demanding sex from a young Colombian woman in exchange for him awarding her a green card.


Those who know a bit about immigration law understand that one of the quickest ways for an alien to gain Legal Permanent Resident status in the U.S., that is, to obtain a “green card,” is to marry an American citizen. Under this procedure the alien becomes an “immediate relative” and does not have to wait for an immigrant visa to become available – a process that sometimes might take several years.
Those who know a bit about evidence law understand that in a criminal or civil proceeding a statement is not hearsay if it is a statement offered against another party and it is that party’s own statment. This is known as an “admission.” Since it is not hearsay such “admission” would be admissible at trial against the one who made it.

Got it? Of course you do. Now consider this.

On Friday, March 21, 2008, Isaac Baichu, an adjudication officer at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service office in Garden City, New York was arrested on corruption charges.

Isaac had threatened to hold up the unnamed Columbian woman’s green card application and had even threatened to deport her relatives if she did not have sex with him.

The woman, who is married to an American citizen, admitted that she had given in to Isaac’s initial demand for sex because she was afraid of his threats. But she was smart! She used her cell phone, hidden in her purse, to record the sexual encounter and the conversation that preceded it. She was then even smarter. Days after the encounter she went to the New York Times with the cell phone recording to tell her story. Next she notified the New York District attorney regarding the matter. Isaac was arrested and suspended from his job last Friday. More than likely the case has been turned over to the Feds for prosecution.

Birdsong’s experience tells him that a trial in this case is unlikely. It is ripe for a quick plea bargain in light of the taped sexual encounter and his threats that could be used against him at trial as admissions.

Isaac was too smart for his own good , as they say on the street –– he literally “tripped” on his own _ _ _  _! Birdsong predicts a 14 month trip to a federal correctional insitution for Isaac. Each day he is incarcerated he can, perhaps, “ trip” off to the prison’s day room and do penance for that “trip” that sent him there.

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