USCIS Efforts Lead to Sentencing of Florida Woman for Obtaining U.S. Citizenship by Fraud and False Statements
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Tampa, Fla. – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) assisted in an investigation that led to U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington sentencing Enite Alindor, also known as Odette Dureland, to five months in federal prison. The 55-year-old woman was sentenced for making false statements in a matter relating to naturalization and citizenship and for procuring naturalization as a U.S. citizen. As part of her sentence, the court also entered an order de-naturalizing her, thus revoking her July 2012 naturalization as a U.S. citizen. A federal jury had found her guilty on March 1, 2018.
According to court documents, Alindor, a citizen of Haiti, applied for asylum with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in Miami in 1997. After the INS denied that application, the United States Immigration Court ordered her to be removed from the United States. Shortly thereafter, Alindor presented herself to the INS as Odettte Dureland and filed for asylum protection under that new identity. She concealed the fact that she had previously applied for status in the United States as Enite Alindor, and she concealed the fact that she was under a final order for removal from the United States. USCIS personnel, unaware of the Alindor identity and order of removal, approved Dureland for citizenship in July 2012, and she was naturalized as a U.S. citizen under that name in July 2012.
“This is a perfect example of federal agencies working together to combat those trying to defraud the American people,” said USCIS Tampa District Director Michael Borgen. “USCIS will continue playing a key role to safeguard the integrity of our immigration system.”
“Citizenship is the greatest immigration benefit our country can bestow,” said HSI Tampa Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero. “HSI and our partners, like USCIS, will continue working together to protect the integrity of our legal immigration system and the opportunities it provides.”
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from USCIS Fraud Detection and National Security in Tampa, and the USCIS Asylum Office in Miami. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay L. Hoffer.