The path to legal residence and citizenship in the United States is often similar to a legal minefield for many applicants. Becoming a lawful resident poses legal risks to ill-informed immigrants who make unnecessary, yet very costly, mistakes. Such is the case of false claims to citizenship.
Section 212(a)(6)(c) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) defines acts of misrepresentation in connection to immigration benefits. One action describes an act perpetrated by someone who falsely claims to be citizen of the United States, which could even lead to deportation in some cases.
One of the major problems with this law, at least according to Members of Congress lead by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is that the language offers little to no leeway when it comes to minors making such claims. The consequences of the law are very harsh as they are; in some cases, the immigrant found to be making the false claim, however unintentional, may be subject to permanent removal from the United States. This is why it is often best to consult with a professional immigration lawyer in San Diego to assist with any necessary claims and paperwork.
Fortunately, in late September 2013, U.S. Homeland Security and the Department of State sent letters to Senator Reid on this matter. The burden of proof in these cases has been softened for those alleged to have made false claims. Affirmative defenses of having made false claims unintentionally may now be admitted in court, and such defenses will be subject to current standards of proof.
In the case of immigrants under the age of 18 who may have mistakenly claimed United States citizenship, an additional affirmative defense may be introduced insofar as lacking capacity to fully understand the severity of false claims.
If you have additional questions about a specific immigration case with false claims, or are interested in learning more about naturalization in San Diego, contact the immigration attorneys at KS Visa Law. We are experts in immigration, offer free consultations and can assist you with all of your immigration needs.