As a San Bernardino immigration attorney, I was disappointed to learn about a local immigration attorney being sent to prison for immigration fraud.
In my view, most immigration attorneys have good intentions. They do their job, day in and day out, to the best of their ability.
However, every now and then, lawyers who commit immigration fraud are exposed and convicted.
Just once is too often for my blood. Even one deserving, hard-working immigrant who is denied a green card because of such actions is one immigrant too many.
Rancho Cucamonga Immigration Attorney Fraud Scheme
Although I wasn’t completely surprised by the news about immigration fraud, I was stunned to learn the guilty perpetuator was a former government attorney.
It’s not that I think government attorneys are above criticism. I’ve had enough run-ins with them to know some of them lack an appreciation for fair play and due process. Rather, my shock was due to the attorney’s stupidity.
If anyone can understand the high consequences of immigration fraud, it should be an immigration lawyer who has worked for the government.
This knowledge did not divert Rancho Cucamonga immigration lawyer Constantine Peter Kallas. Over the five years before his arrest, Kallas engaged in schemes where he took at least $425,000 from immigrants in bribes for protection from deportation..
One of Kallas’ methods of shielding immigrants from deportation was to submit false labor applications that listed the immigrants as employees in fictitious companies created by Kallas.
Relying on his past connections, he would go to immigration court and obtain dismissals from judges. According to government documents, Kallas even went as far as to stop deportations by simply stealing files.
Being an immigration deportation defense lawyer, I know how tough it is to practice immigration law today. Many clients do not have the funds necessary to hire attorneys, some need an expended and lenient payment plan.
Besides the financial aspects, the laws are slanted harshly against immigrants. We are living in the dark ages of immigration law.
Every victory requires the utmost dedication, perspiration, and inspiration. Simple cases seem to no longer exist.
Still, after spending a minimum of seven years in college and law school, why would any attorney take the path of least resistance?
As I see it, lawyers like Kallas do not care about justice. They do not care about fair play.
They do not care about immigrants.
What Happens Next To Immigration Fraud Victims When ICE Comes Knocking?
Kallas’ sentence, 17 years in prison, does not offset the pain soon to be faced by those immigrants he befriended for dishonest purposes.
And that’s the untold story. How many immigrants comprehended whatever Kallas told them he was doing for them?
Kallas received a lot of media attention for his actions. His victims are the forgotten people.
For my immigration law offices in San Bernardino, Riverside, and Hemet, this is not an abstract concern.
In the near future, since we serve immigrants throughout the Inland Empire, I anticipate some of Kallas’ ex-clients will contact my immigration offices asking for help.
Most likely, they will call shortly after immigration authorities seek to deport them for immigration fraud.
Unfortunately, their battles are 100% uphill. These will be difficult deportation and removal defense cases.
There will be many casualties.
By the time immigration fraud victims arrive at my offices, quite often, it’s a day late and a dollar short.
But you can learn the most common immigration scams used to destroy the , hopes and aspirations of immigration families.
The money that Kallas’ victims wasted on his fraudulent actions could have been used to help some of them legally live and work in the United States.
Sadly, in the vast bulk of these cases, their dreams have already been shattered. Forever.
By Carlos Batara, Immigration Law, Policy, And Politics