Immigration Law Questions? Ask an Immigration Lawyer.
Hi. I came into the USA as an illegal when I was only 6 months old. I spent all my life there until 2004 when I was deported under section 212(a)(9) of the immigration law for false representation. Since then I graduated top in my class in Mexico and am a licensed architect. I have, since then, filed visas as a nonimmigrant and have been granted them. My plans are to continue my studies and get a Master's degree. With the new immigration bill just approved by the US Senate, would I be eligible to request the provisional visa so that I can continue my studies as I can easily prove that I had been brought into the US since my infancy in 1982? How can I go about changing my status?
On another note, my mother petitioned for me in 1991 under a Family Unity form, but she passed away in 1996 before the process was completed, and I never knew if it was.
I falsely stated I was a US Citizen.
I guess my immigration story is a bit complex. I was first granted a temporary residency in 1989 under the Amnesty Act of that year when President Bush Sr. granted legal residency to all those who were in the US prior to January 1st, 1982. They then revoked the visa as it was impossible for me to be in the US prior to said date as I was born in April 1982. Then my mother petitioned for me in 1991, and she received a letter stating that the form had been accepted, but the final approval never came. Since then I took out diverse visas to try to keep some kind of legal status in the US such as student visas but overstaying them. It wasn't until 2004 that being drunk I falsely stated I was a US citizen and was detained and removed from the US.
I have an older brother and father both of whom are US legal residents and a younger sister who is a US citizen.
There are 4 things in U.S. immigration law that have no forgiveness, that not even a U.S. Presidential pardon works, and those are fraud marriage, trafficking of a controlled substance, money laundering and false claim to U.S. Citizenship.
So when and if they find out about it (and they will because they ask that specific question on the N-400 application to become a U.S. Citizen), you will be denied U.S. Citizenship, or renewal of a Residency status and you will be deported from the U.S. I am truly sorry. Here is a link so that you can read more about it:
A person who falsely represents or has falsely represented him- or herself to be USC to obtain benefit under INA, federal, or state law is removable. This section applies to representations made on or after Sept. 30, 1996. IIRIRA §344(c). Congress has provided an exception and a person will not be subject to deportation or removal if:
(1) parents were or are USCs; (2) the person permanently resided in the U.S. prior to 16; and (3) the person reasonably believed at the time of making such representations that he or she was a USC.
Thanks for the response. I wasn't aware that even a presidential pardon could cure my record of this ordeal. You saved me a lot of time and toil in that arena.
I can't say that I had hoped that with the fact that I had lived in the US for over 20 years and that I had misrepresented myself while slightly intoxicated I could waiver this claim. I just wish I had known about this part of immigration law at the time so as to have avoided committing such a stupidity on my behalf.
Well, 30 years of immigration struggle since practical birth is exhausting. I'll hang my coat on this ordeal. The way I see it, it's the country's loss, and Canada's gain. I will be applying for my visa there and doing it the legitimate way, rather than the way my parents did it for me.
If the law does change in the next 10 to 20 years, which it probably won't, good, but by then I will have long since grown tired of the bureaucratic immigration process and my American Dream has now officially been laid to rest. My new dream is the one I can pave for myself and not one that relies on some law or some official.
Arq. Luis de la Fuente
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