United States v. Archer, No. 10-4684-cr (2d Cir. September 20, 2011) (Newman, Calabresi, Hall, CJJ)
Thomas Archer, a solo-practitioner immigration lawyer in Queens, ran a visa fraud mill. His specialty was the I-687, an amnesty program that permitted certain aliens who were here illegally in the 1980’s to adjust their status and receive a visa. In 2004 and 2005, Archer filed nearly 240 I-687 applications; the DHS denied them all.
Convicted of visa fraud and conspiracy to commit visa fraud, his appeal concerned both trial issues – centered around his claim that he did know know that his assistants were filing forms with false information – and sentencing issues. The circuit affirmed Archer’s conviction, but remanded for resentencing and recalculation of the restitution.
The Trial Issues
At trial, an immigration agent who had reviewed 175 I-687 applications that Archer’s office filed, testified that almost all of them had certain suspicious …