A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement attorney was sentenced to 30 days in jail Wednesday for forging a document to make it look like a Mexican man who wanted to stay in the United States was not eligible to do so.
Jonathan M. Love was also sentenced to 100 hours of community service, must resign his law license and must pay Ignacio Lanuza $12,000 in restitution, Seattlepi.com reported. Love, 58, previously pleaded guilty to a federal deprivation of rights misdemeanor charge, acknowledging he used his position to deprive Lanuza of due process.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says Lanuza was stopped by an ICE officer in 2008, and ICE started removal proceedings.
Love was assigned the case in 2009 and submitted a document to the Immigration Court that he said was signed by Lanuza in 2000. Prosecutors say Love doctored the date to make Lanuza ineligible to have his removal cancelled.
Lanuza should have been eligible to contest his deportation because he had been living in the United States for over 10 years, showed good moral character and had a family made up of U.S. citizens. Love's forgery was meant to make it appear as though Lanuza hadn't been in the United States for 10 years and was therefore ineligible for deportation relief.
The motive for Love's actions remains unclear. He said in court Wednesday he didn't know why he did it.