Eric Affholter proves that lawyers don’t always follow the law. The St. Louis based homo has plead guilty to arranging a fraudulent marriage to keep his Peruvian boyfriend in America.
Affholter, who once headed the Missouri city’s public defender’s office, recruited his colleague, Collette Lewis to marry his boyfriend, Pedro Cerna-Rojas. Cerna-Rojas came to America in 2000 to study and met Affholter in 2003, at which point they fell in love.
Immigration laws nearly forced Cerna-Rojas out of the country and back to his native Peru, but Lewis helped stop the deportation by marrying Cerna-Rojas in 2004.
Despite their ruse, when Lewis and Cerna-Rojas filed the latter’s immigration papers, they made clear that they lived with their respective boyfriends, but insisted they had consummated their so-called love. Apparently immigration officials weren’t paying attention, because they granted Cerna-Rojas “conditional permanent residential status”.
Further examination, however, uncovered the lie and Affholter and Cerna-Rojas were indicted on June 1st. Cerna-Rojas has since been deported.
Affholter, who currently lives in Illinois, explains his situation,
I just wanted to be able to spend the rest of my life with the person I fell in love with – in this country. It was illegal. And as a lawyer, I should have made a decision to uphold the law.
If only America would pass the Uniting American Family Act, then people wouldn’t have to lie to keep their lovers within reach.
For more on this issue, relive our interview with Through Thick and Thin director, Sebastian Cordoba.