Immigrants allegedly given offer to join tribe
But the tribe they were touting isn't recognized by the United States government.
And, in any case, members of American Indian tribes aren't exempt from immigration laws.
Two people suspected in the scheme pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges of theft and selling false citizenship documents.
“They believe the government has no authority over them,” said Mark Pitcavage, an investigator with the Anti-Defamation League, which considers Pembina an extremist anti-government group.
The group's claims are derided by established American Indian groups, who say tribal membership can't be bought.
“It's a despicable process,” said Juan Castellanos of the Indian Human Resource Center in San Diego.