Oct 3 (Reuters) – A former New York state lawmaker was sentenced on Friday to a year and a day in prison for entering into a sham marriage to gain U.S. citizenship and for lying about her assets when filing for bankruptcy.
Gabriela Rosa, 47, represented a northern Manhattan district in the New York State Assembly before resigning and pleading guilty to federal charges in June.
A Dominican Republic native, she became a citizen in 2005. Only U.S. citizens can serve as New York state legislators.
During a sentencing hearing in Manhattan federal court, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote scolded Rosa, her lawyer and people who wrote letters supporting leniency. Their arguments seemed to excuse what she did as typical of what all immigrants do, the judge said, according to a transcript.
Rosa’s lawyer, Genesis Peduto, said at the hearing that Rosa was “following the American dream” and looking for a better life when she married someone to obtain citizenship.
The judge cut him off: “I am sorry. Are you suggesting that committing marriage fraud, which in this case meant paying $8,000 to another person and lying to immigration officials for years is the American dream?”…