Send in(out) the clowns
Some news from The Sun-Sentinel-
Acrobats, jugglers and contortionists they weren't.I certainly hope so but somehow I wouldn't be surpised if many of the addresses are no longer vailid.
But with the help of an Orlando man offering bogus circus contracts in Florida, 872 impostors from Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia and other countries paid up to $4,000 each to be illegally smuggled into the country during the past 10 years, federal investigators charged Monday.
Constantin Ciprian Durbalau, 30, a Romanian citizen who has lived in Orlando and Davenport in the past few years, was arrested Thursday night at Orlando International Airport after returning from his country. At a hearing Monday, U.S. Magistrate James Glazebrook ordered Durbalau held without bail on charges of smuggling aliens for financial gain and aiding and abetting forged immigration documents.
At Monday's hearing, Blake Hayes, an agent with the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service, testified that Durbalau was part of a broader criminal organization operated by Kristo Ivanov, an Orlando man who operated Magic Star Entertainment Inc. and Magic Star Entertainment Agency Inc.
Those companies submitted 170 visa petitions to U.S. embassies overseas for 872 performers who were issued P-1 visas for internationally recognized athletes or performers or O-1 visas for foreigners with extraordinary skills in science, arts, education or athletics from 1997 to 2006, according to the arrest affidavit.
"Ivanov and Durbalau presented contracts from small Florida circuses when in fact, no contracts existed," it said.
Durbalau said he had a role in helping Ivanov obtain 30 fraudulent visas from Romania. Five immigrants also interviewed by investigators said Durbalau charged between $2,000 and $4,000 per person -- and one unidentified witness said Durbalau earned more than $125,000, Hayes and arrest records say.
After arriving in the U.S., the illegal immigrants worked in carpentry, housekeeping and unskilled-labor jobs, the affidavit said.
In court Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Hawkins said Ivanov has been questioned by authorities and is expected to be charged in the future.
Ivanov, a former Epcot acrobat who said he runs a talent agency placing different types of performers, told the Sentinel that he was unaware Durbalau was back in the country or had been arrested. Durbalau, he said, had worked in his business until three years ago.
Immigration officials said they would be sending letters notifying the illegal-visa holders -- many thought to be in the Orlando area -- that they must leave the country or face arrest.
"We will follow up," the ICE's Garrand said.
America is the land of opportunity. While many people hate the USA, millions also want to immigrate here. Isn't that ironic.
This is just the latest example of Immigration/Visa bungling. I have no confidence in this agency, and how some people expect them or the government to do a mass deportation of illegals without screwing up is beyond me.
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