Controversial Immigration

San Diego Woman Sentenced to Three Years and One Month in Prison for Hiding Illegal Immigrants in her Home


Earlier this month, a San Diego woman was sentenced to prison for her involvement in the smuggling of illegal immigrants from Mexico into the United States. Dania Olivero, who is 51 and a legal immigrant from Cuba, had agreed to let the illegal immigrants temporarily stay at her small rented house in the City Heights neighborhood in San Diego. Olivero had previously allowed the use of her rented home as a staging point for illegal border crossers on several occasions, but this last time there were more people brought to her home than usual. Two neighbors had reported suspicious activity to the San Diego Police Department and when officers arrived, they found around 44 people in Olivero’s house and backyard. Olivero was arrested and U.S. District Judge William Hayes sentenced her to three years and one month in prison and Olivero told the judge,

I did it without thinking. I did it to pay my rent.

Olivero’s attorney claimed that her client’s actions were done in desperation to support her four children and her partner’s two children. However, Judge Hayes’s decision took into account Olivero’s past misdemeanor convictions for spousal abuse and theft. The conditions at Olivero’s home were described as “grim,” given that some immigrants were reportedly locked inside a small shed without access to a bathroom, lights, or ventilation. This case might serve as a deterrent for people that might be approached with this same type of arrangement to house illegal immigrants and for people trying to enter into the United States illegally.

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