Do you believe this border agent did not know it was illegal to marry a illegal claims allowed under agency?

A Customs and Border Protection Officer at JFK Airport, fired for a prohibited association with an illegal alien, could not convince the appeals court to reinstate her. (Olmos v. Department of Homeland Security, C.A.F.C. No. 2010-3009 (nonprecedential), 2/4/10)

Ms. Olmos worked 15 years as an Immigration Inspector when her job was transferred to the new Department of Homeland Security in 2003. The new department had a provision in its standards of conduct that prohibited employees from associating "with individuals or groups who are believed or known to be connected with criminal activities. This limitation on association covers any social, sexual, financial, or business relationship with…a suspected or known criminal, or an illegal alien, subject to being removed from the United States of America." (Opinion, p. 2)

Just in case this provision was not entirely clear, the agency held a "muster" on the rules in mid 2005 at which Ms. Olmos was present. (p. 2)

Olmos began dating Rafael Vanegas only to learn in the fall of 2005 that he was an illegal alien. She married him anyway.

Vanegas returned to his native Colombia a year later to work on getting an immigrant visa. Olmos began submitting forms to her agency to get her new husband's immigration status changed. The agency put two and two together and eventually charged Olmos with "knowingly associating with an illegal alien," proposing her removal. The final agency decision took into account the relevant factors, including Olmos' years of service and her four prior suspensions for various infractions. The decision was removal.

Olmos appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board. In her testimony, Olmos admitted that she knew Vanegas was an illegal alien before she married him and that her actions would cause her problems with the agency. She claimed that the union president and two CBP supervisors had told her that marrying such an individual was allowed under the agency rule. She also argued that other employees had married illegal aliens without being disciplined; however, she was unable to name names other than of people who had married aliens who were in the country legally. (pp. 2-3)http://www.fedsmith.com/article/2322/knowingly-ass...

Do you believe this border agent did not know it was illegal to marry a illegal claims allowed under agency rule ?

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  • Fred S
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    According to a friend of mine at JFK, Olmos is a legacy INS inspector who knew what was going on. She was also a source of trouble, and no one misses her. Apparently, JFK is a better place to work without her.

    Had she been a legacy Customs officer or a new CBP officer, it's almost possible to believe that she didn't know what was happening or the consequences of associating with an illegal alien, but a legacy INS officer would not have failed to find out a person's status before starting a relationship.

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