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Tactics for Success, No. 16: Stay on the right side of the law

In her book, The Immigrant’s Way, available in the downloadable Kindle format, or paperback, Margaret W. Wong describes twenty-two tactics the foreign born person can use to ensure her stay in the USA is as long as she wants it to be. We will present for you one of her strategies every week in this space.

16. Stay on the right side of the law. Do not do stupid things which you know are stupid.

One example is renting a warehouse to help a friend store their phony Gucci or Louis Vuitton bags so that they can sell them. It is a serious crime, even though you thought you were only renting the warehouse and not committing the crime of selling counterfeit goods. American courts view it as you conspiring with the person committing the crime, and you can be fined or jailed for it. The fact that you knew about the fake goods makes it a criminal act even if you were not at the scene when the fake goods were sold and you didn’t make any money from it. This will make your clean record with the courts not so clean anymore.

Our firm handled a case with this exact fact pattern. Selling drug paraphernalia is a crime even if you are not selling the drug. Ecstasy is a drug. It is not just for a party or for having private fun with a friend. Giving your friend an ecstasy pill in her mouth, even if it is not swallowed or chewed, makes you both guilty of committing a criminal act. We may not think this is fair, but these are the laws of this country. I have seen so many cases like this. I know you did not mean to do any harm and did not even know that this was against the law. But be careful! You are new in this country. You are the ones that the government is watching even more closely than others. Do well. Do not hurt your families and make them lose faith, lose love, and lose face because you were stupid.