Of all the ways to avoid deportation, the method allegedly taken by two illegal immigrants in the Seattle area might just rank as one of the most complicated and least ethical.
According to The Seattle Times, police say two women who claimed they were sexually assaulted and robbed last month lied to police in order to obtain a visa for immigrants who have been a victim of a crime.
It began as what looked like a bizarre and horrifying stickup at a restaurant. On Oct. 19, police were called to Bob’s Burgers & Teriyaki in SeaTac, Washington, after eight people were reportedly tied up, with two of them sexually assaulted.
“At least one of the two robbers had a gun when they entered the eatery in the 20000 block of International Boulevard around 9 p.m., said sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Ryan Abbott,” The Times reported Oct. 21.
“The robbers tied up one employee and seven customers, sexually assaulted two women, and stole money, car keys, jewelry and other items from the bound victims, Abbott said Monday morning.”
That didn’t hold up under scrutiny.
“It was all a lie,” King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht said Monday at a news conference.
“Every employee present that evening, every customer, participated in a deliberate hoax,” she said.
SeaTac Police Chief Jon Mattsen added it was “a tremendous waste of resources.”
There was something that appeared to be a robbery that evening, police said. There were two men in masks who tied up the people in the restaurant. The two men, identified by the “victims” as Samoan, even drove off in one of their vehicles, a vehicle that hasn’t been located yet.
“Participants decided they would pin this fake robbery on two Samoan males,” Johanknecht said, according to KOMO-TV. “Not only do we have a hoax, we have a racially motivated one.”
So, why go to all this trouble?
For something called the U visa. It’s a visa that’s granted to illegal aliens who are victims of crimes and help out with police investigations.
It’s unknown how many of the people involved in the hoax had planned to apply for U visas because King County doesn’t ask about immigration status when it arrests people.
“This hoax should be an affront to all of us, especially those real victims of violence and sexual assault that U visas were intended to protect,” Johanknecht said.
This is an additional affront inasmuch as this happened in a sanctuary locale, which means police officers weren’t even able to investigate how many of them were planning to apply for U visas.
The plot was discovered when police realized there were inconsistencies in their stories.
“Fairly early in the investigation … there were several things that were not making sense. … One thread of information didn’t come from another and eventually somebody offered up the true and correct information and that caused somebody else to say ‘Yeah, we made it up,'” Johanknecht said.
The individual then admitted it was done for a U visa.
No arrests have been made yet, although it’s clear that’s where it’s moving.
All of this was done so that some of the “victims” wouldn’t have to be deported.
This was a hideous waste of resources, and you know what? Not a single one of the people alleged to have been in on it is in custody.
That isn’t exactly a pleasant augury, given that at least some of the alleged perpetrators aren’t in this country legally and don’t have anything to lose.
Even now, it’s clear authorities don’t want Immigration and Customs Enforcement involved.
Johanknecht was asked whether ICE would be brought in to deal with the case. Her response? “I’m not letting go of this.”
Given that we don’t even know who among the arrested is illegally here, perhaps she ought to.
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