Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Miami Woman Faces Jail Time for Bigamy

It is not uncommon for a little girl to dream about her wedding day. She has the dress designed, the first dance selected and may even decide which of her favorite playground friends will be standing by her side years before she ever meets the groom. I wonder if Eunice Rodriguez enjoyed those types of daydreams when she when a child. She loves getting married so much that she’s done it four times in her forty-six years. The only problem … she didn’t divorce one husband before moving on to the next. Now, Mrs. Rodriguez is facing jail time for multiple counts of bigamy.

Rodriguez is a Cuban native who lives in Miami as a legal U.S. resident. She has made a career in recent years of marrying undocumented migrant workers for money to help them earn legal status in our country. And, she is only one member in a family business of bigamy. Rodriguez’s brother and sister are currently on the lam to avoid arrest on a combined seventeen marriages. Her daughter was arrested last year on nine counts of bigamy (appears that she was more successful at the practice than her mom) and has pleaded not guilty.

The investigation of Eunice Rodriguez was led by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and had the cooperation of the Miami-Dade State’s Attorney Office. Following the arrest of Mrs. Rodriguez earlier this week, one of the ICE agents commented, “ICE and its law enforcement partners will not tolerate the exploitation of our country's immigration system.” As the saying goes, sometimes love (of your spouse or his payment for sham marriages services) just isn’t enough.

At the Austin, Houston, and San Antonio offices of Bertolino LLP, we have attorneys who specialize in issues of immigration law. You may not find yourself involved in a wedding to keep someone in the country, but there are certainly many other serious situations related to immigration that require professionalism and experience. Please contact us if we can help you.

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