SAIPAN – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has filed a criminal complaint against a Chinese citizen for using a fake immigration document.
Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Nicole Sively said on Aug. 22, a federal protective service officer encountered Wu who committed a traffic violation. Wu presented a CNMI driver’s license to the FPS officer and admitted that he was an illegal taxi driver.
Sively said a background check indicated that Wu had also overstayed his CNMI-only conditional parole.
A citizen of China, Wu entered the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands on March 3, 2017 and was granted a conditional parole until March 11, 2017.
After determining that Wu is subject to immigration removal proceedings, HSI investigators contacted the CNMI Bureau of Motor Vehicle regarding the driver’s license in Wu’s possession.
BMV personnel provided investigators with Wu’s driver license and operator’s permit application including a copy of his passport and immigration form I-797A listing him as a holder of CW-1, with a validity period of Feb. 1, 2016 to Dec. 31, 2017.
Further investigation revealed that the receipt number listed in the I-797 form was not found in the DHS system.
“The alien number listed on the I-797A was a valid alien number but was not assigned to Wu. Furthermore, record checks conducted on Wu’s name and date of birth revealed no immigration petitions to include CW-l. Based on these results it was determined that the I-797A was fraudulent,” Sively said.
In a statement to the HSI special agent after his arrest, Wu said while he was working in Garapan, “someone introduced him to someone who could assist him in obtaining a driver’s license.”
Wu said he took the written test in English by himself and took the driving test a few times before passing the written test.
Wu said he was not aware that he was in the U.S. illegally and he didn’t know that he couldn’t have a driver’s license.
In another interview conducted on Aug. 23, Wu admitted that he was illegally present in Saipan and has been on island since 2017.
He said a friend introduced him to “Uncle Zhang” who helped him obtain a CNMI driver’s license.
Wu said there were papers that were turned in with his driver’s license application. Wu stated that “Uncle Zhang” filled out his driver’s license application, which Wu signed.
Wu said he didn’t know anything about the CW-1 form, I-797A, and only provided “Uncle Zhang” his passport and Chinese driver’s license.
Wu said he did not give “Uncle Zhang” cash for his help but instead bought him dinner and about $400-$500 worth of groceries.
He added that without “Uncle Zhang” helping him, he could not have obtained a driver’s license legally or on his own.
On Monday, Wu, appeared for an initial hearing before Magistrate Judge Heather L. Kennedy and was represented by court-appointed attorney Robert Torres and interpreter Mike Yang.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric O’ Malley appeared for the federal government. Special Agent Nicole Sively was also present at the hearing.
Judge Kennedy set the continuation of the hearing for Wednesday, Aug. 28, at noon for the U.S. government’s motion for detention.
O’Malley said Wu is a flight risk.