Immigration officer out on bail after her arrest

first_imgA U.S. Citizenship and Immigration officer is out on bail after being arrested on charges she issued a visa to an illegal immigrant and forged a visa admission stamp for use on other official documents. Maria Barillas, a local immigration information officer, was taken into custody Wednesday on state fraud and forgery charges by officers with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General’s Office and agents with USCIS Office of Security and Investigations. Barillas is accused of forging and counterfeiting a U.S. government immigration visa admission stamp; issuing a false visa to an illegal immigrant from Nicaragua; stealing and defacing federal documents; accessing government computers without authorization; and identity theft, according to officials with the District Attorney’s Office. According to Barillas’ arrest warrant, the charges stemmed from acts she reportedly committed from July 25, 2003, to July 20, 2004, though Barillas remained on USCIS’ payroll until her Sept. 13 arrest, USCIS spokesman Chris Bentley said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! District Attorney’s spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said Barillas was released on $25,000 bail and that her arraignment is set for Oct. 4. Bentley said USCIS officials take charges against employees seriously and work closely with law enforcement to ensure the integrity of Citizenship and Immigration Services. “Obviously, this is significant,” Bentley said. “It points to the fact that the integrity of the immigration process is extremely important to us whenever an allegation of misconduct comes to our attention.”last_img

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