Adults and teenagers who were brought to the United States as young children are sometimes led to believe that they are American citizens. People in this situation usually do not realize that they are actually undocumented immigrants until they have to submit paperwork for things like college applications or when sponsoring a family member’s immigration to New York. A former immigration officer with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection — CBP — recently experienced this difficult discovery.
During his 50 years living in the United States, the former immigration served in the navy and deployed overseas on five different occasions. He eventually went on to work for CBP as an immigration officer, where he was employed for 20 years. He lost that job after he tried to sponsor his brother’s emigration from Mexico. After he submitted their respective paperwork he was told that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had found his original birth certificate, which showed he was born in Mexico.
The Office of the Inspector General launched a criminal investigation, accusing him of falsifying the immigration application. He was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing, perhaps in part because he had never seen the birth certificate and had always believed that he was a citizen. Unfortunately, his ordeal is not over just yet. The USCIS stalled his residency application since he submitted incorrect information. However, the rule regarding falsified applications only applies when a person knowingly falsifies information, which he did not.
This is an extremely difficult situation for anyone to be in. Anyone who has ever had an immigration application stalled or denied knows just how frustrating and uncertain it can be. In these circumstances in New York, it is a good idea to speak with an immigration law attorney, who can help address the situation and represent the individual’s best interests moving forward.