Armenian kin face another setback
By Nancy Lofholm, Denver Post Staff Writer
Denver Post, CO
Dec 22 2004
The government has appealed a ruling that made the eldest daughter a legal U.S. resident.
Immigration officials have thrown up one more roadblock for an Armenian family that has been fighting for six years to become legal residents of the United States.
An attorney for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement division of the Department of Homeland Security has appealed the recent immigration-court ruling that granted legal status for the eldest daughter of the Sargsyan family, Nvart Idinyan.
The appeal claims that Idinyan engaged in marriage fraud when she wed American Vaughn Huckfeldt in her homeland in 1995.
The Sargsyans deny that and blame Huckfeldt for causing all their immigration woes. They allege he was engaged in human trafficking and falsely promised to secure visas for Armenians after taking thousands of dollars from them.
He brought the Sargsyan family to the United States in 1999 after, they say, Armenians who had been duped out of money for visas by Huckfeldt were threatening and harassing the Sargsyans.
"My personal belief is that Vaughn Huckfeldt conned them (immigration officials) as much as he conned Nvart. He is a master con man," said Jeff Joseph, the Denver immigration lawyer who is handling the Sargsyans' case.
Huckfeldt is reportedly living in Germany and could not be reached for comment. He faces a warrant for his arrest in the United States, where he has not paid child support for the son he and Idinyan had in 1996.
Joseph said Huckfeldt alleged after Idinyan filed for divorce in 1999 that she had married him for a green card. Those allegations were dismissed following a hearing before an immigration judge in Denver in 2000.
The appeal affects the immigration cases of other members of the Sargsyan family.
Idinyan remarried, and her current husband has adopted her two minor brothers. If Idinyan's legal status had not been challenged, it would have given her brothers, Gevorg, 20, and Hayk, 17, more legal standing.
Gevorg, Hayk, their father, Ruben, and sister, Meri, recently spent five weeks in an immigration detention center awaiting deportation. The matriarch of the family, Susan Idinyan, was not jailed because her case is being heard separately.
Luisa Aquino, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said her agency has the right to appeal any decision made by an immigration judge.
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