- A lawyer for Anna Sorokin (AKA Anna Delvey) filed a last-minute appeal to keep her in the US before deportation.
- She was scheduled to be put on a plane back to Germany Monday, and her jail began the process of removing her.
- Her lawyer told Insider she filed for emergency consideration because of “serious health issues.”
A lawyer for Anna Sorokin filed a last-minute appeal to immigration authorities, keeping her in the United States just hours before she was scheduled to be put on a plane and deported back to Germany.
On Monday, jail officials told Sorokin — who also goes by Anna Delvey — that she’d be deported after nearly a year of fighting against removal. Officials from the Orange County Jail in upstate New York, where Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has detained her, began the process of removing her from the jail, draining her commissary account of money and disabling the digital tools she used to contact the outside world.
But before ICE put her on a plane, her immigration attorney Audrey Thomas filed a stay with the Justice Department Board of Immigration Appeals to keep her in the US. Sorokin was granted emergency consideration because she has “serious health issues” that would be exacerbated on a long flight, Thomas told Insider.
“They were putting her on a plane yesterday and I had to stop them,” Thomas said.
Sorokin, a German national, rose to fame through a scam where she pretended to be an heiress with a $60 million fortune. With her fake identity, she scammed New York’s socialite scene and bilked banks in order to try to execute a plan for a business called the Anna Delvey Foundation. Her exploits were chronicled in the hit
show “Inventing Anna,” released in February.
She was released from a New York state prison in February 2021 after serving time on charges connected to her scam. But ICE re-arrested her weeks later intending to deport her. An immigration judge ruled that she could remain in custody, siding with ICE lawyers who said she wasn’t properly rehabilitated.
ICE tried to deport Sorokin even though she had more time to appeal
Sorokin has complained of the Kafkaesque immigration system, writing in an essay for Insider that authorities often tell her about hearings at the last minute.
“It’s hard to prepare or submit any evidence for the court’s consideration when you find out about the hearing 10 minutes before it takes place,” she wrote. “Is it fair to call me ‘unpredictable’ if you never gave me a chance to create stability?”
On February 17, the Board of Immigration Appeals rejected arguments from Thomas that the board didn’t properly serve her an earlier decision, issued in October, thereby depriving Sorokin of the opportunity to ask for a hearing over an even earlier decision to keep her in custody and to grant her asylum.
The October decision was issued on October 21, but Thomas said she didn’t get a copy in the mail until November 22 — past the 30-day window she would have to appeal it. The board’s February ruling, a copy of which was obtained by Insider, said that Thomas didn’t sufficiently prove that its office messed up in serving the October decision.
“Because the applicant has not shown that our prior decision was improperly served we will deny her motion to reissue our prior order,” the February ruling said.
But Sorokin has until later this week to appeal that decision, according to the ruling. It’s not clear why ICE began the process of deporting her on Monday anyway. An ICE spokesperson told Insider that it “does not discuss future removal operations.”
“The decision said we didn’t give them the envelope. And so we sent them the right envelope,” Thomas told Insider. “We’re not lying. They never served us with the decision.”
In the end, Sorokin never got on the plane on Monday. A reporter for the German outlet BILD booked a flight on the plane she was scheduled to be on from Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey to Frankfurt, Germany. But her seat was empty, BILD reported. She remains in Orange County Jail.
Thomas said she hired another attorney, Carol Gray, to file another appeal in the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals to keep her in the country and have her released from jail. She said immigration authorities are “mad because she had the temerity to file for asylum” and that it’s ironic that authorities keep her incarcerated and base their reasoning on misfiled documents.
“What is taking place proves that the justice system doesn’t always work,” Thomas said. “Because you’re saying that it’s wrong for Anna to falsify documents. Yet you have an immigration judge and the entire system falsifying documents by not sending out the notices, by claiming that proposed orders are wrong, by doing everything in their power to compromise Anna.”