FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         CRM
TUESDAY, MAY 9, 1995                               (202) 514-2008
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888


     The Department of Justice and Kathryn E. Landreth, the U.S.
Attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada, announced today that on May 8,
1995, a jury in Las Vegas found Jose Velez, who had been the
national President of the League of United Latin American
Citizens (LULAC) from 1990 to 1994, guilty of 10 counts of
immigration fraud.
     Velez was convicted of conspiring with others to file false
legalization applications with the Immigration and Naturalization
Service on behalf of thousands of unqualified alien applicants. 
He was also convicted of actually filing false legalization
applications on behalf of nine unqualified aliens.  Velez, 57, is
scheduled to be sentenced on August 18, 1995.  He faces a maximum
term of imprisonment of 50 years and a maximum fine of
     The legalization applicants false claimed that the aliens
had performed certain required seasonal agricultural services in
the United States or falsely claimed that the aliens had resided
continuously and illegally in the United States since before
January 1, 1982.  The purpose of these applicants was to obtain
for the applicants a Temporary Resident Card.  The law would then
permit the applicant to apply for a Resident Alien Card, commonly
known as a "green card," which permits an alien to reside
permanently in the United States and to later apply for United
States citizenship.  The applications were filed with the
Immigration and Naturalization Service pursuant to a legalization
program enacted by Congress, the Immigration Reform and Control
Act, which went into effect in 1986.
     The prosecution of Velez is the product of an INS
Legalization Fraud Task Force investigation into widespread
legalization fraud in Las Vegas, Nevada.  In addition to Velez,
the investigation has thus far resulted in the guilty pleas or
convictions of 20 individuals, who together are responsible for
filing false legalization applicants for in excess of an
estimated 11,000 unqualified aliens.