Duluth School Officials Charged in Immigration Conspiracy

Bill Rankin, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 21, 2009

Two Gwinnett County residents were indicted Tuesday for operating what prosecutors say was a sham English-language school that was used as a conduit to let immigrants live here illegally.

Federal prosecutors say Songwoo Shim, 47, of Lawrenceville, and In Young Park, 36, of Duluth, falsified documents and illegally obtained immigration approval for dozens of “students” who never attended the Duluth school.

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Shim, who managed and operated the center, allegedly obtained approval for the school based on a fraudulent application he submitted to the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said.

“The two defendants then allegedly used the illegitimate school as a vehicle to obtain fraudulent immigration documents for dozens, and perhaps hundreds, of ‘students,'” Nahmias said. Most never attended the school, he said.

Prosecutors said Shim allegedly submitted forged or fraudulently obtained letters from legitimate schools as part of his petition to the Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program.

Once the agency approved the Humana Language Learning Center’s application in 2006, Shim and Park began getting student visas for aliens who were not entitled to them, prosecutors said. The defendants then provided falsified documents, such as resumes, school transcripts and diplomas, to be used in support of immigration applications, prosecutors said.

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