False claim to US citizenship

ANG isang dayuhan na may false claim sa U.S. citizenship ay maaaring maging inadmissible sa U.S. Ang mga sumusunod ang elements ng false claim sa U.S.citizenship: (1) ang dayuhan ay nagsabi na siya ay U.S. citizen; (2) ang kanyang pagsabi na siya ay U.S. citizen ay hindi totoo; (3) alam ng dayuhan na siya ay nagsisinungaling noong sinabi niya na siya ay U.S. citizen; at (4) ang dahilan ng pagsabi ng dayuhan na siya ay U.S. citizen ay upang makakuha ng mga benepisyo sa ilalim ng Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), o para sa benepisyo sa ilalim ng federal law o state law.

Ang dayuhan ay maaaring magsabi na siya ay U.S. citizen sa mga interbyu, sa mga aplikasyon niya sa trabaho, o sa mga dokumentong kanyang ibinigay sa federal at state officials. Maaari rin na ang pagsisinungaling ukol sa U.S. citizenship ay sinabi sa isang pribadong tao, katulad ng U.S. employer. Para maging false claim sa U.S. citizenship, dapat ay alam ng dayuhan na ang sinasabi niya na siya ay U.S. citizen ay kasinungalingan. Kung akala ng dayuhan na siya U.S. citizen dahil ito ang sinabi sa kanya ng kanyang mga magulang simula noong siya ay sanggol pa hanggang lumaki na siya, at buong buhay niya itong pinaniwalaan, hindi masasabing ang dayuhan ay may false claim sa U.S. citizenship.

Ayon sa batas, ang isang dayuhan ay inadmissible dahil sa false claim ng U.S. citizenship kung siya ay nagsabi at naglinlang para makakuha ng mga benepisyo sa ilalim ng INA, o federal law o state law. Kailangan ding ang U.S. citizenship ay materyal para sa benepisyong gustong makuha ng dayuhan, kagaya ng sa aplikasyon para sa U.S. passport, pagpasok sa US kung saan sinasabi ng dayuhan na siya ay U.S. citizen para hindi tanungin ng Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Officers, o kaya ay sa pag-fill up ng Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form, kung saan sinasabi ng dayuhan na siya ay U.S. citizen upang hindi na siya hanapan ng U.S. employer ng mga dokumento na siya ay legal na pwedeng magtrabaho sa U.S. Maaari ring ang dayuhan ay may false claim sa U.S. citizenship upang makaiwas sa mga negatibong maaaring mangyari sa kanya kung siya ay wala nang status sa U.S., tulad ng paglagay sa kanya sa removal o deportation proceedings.

Upang maging inadmissible ang dayuhan, kailangang ang U.S. citizenship ay materyal sa benipisyong gustong niyang makuha. Ayon sa mga court decisions, ang false claim sa U.S. citizenship ng isang dayuhan upang makaiwas ng aresto dahil sa disorderly conduct, o para sa isang small business loan ay hindi rin materyal dahil ang U.S. citizenship ay walang kinalaman sa pag-aresto at pag-utang. Ngunit kung ang false claim sa U.S. citizenship ay para sa federal student loan, mahalaga ang U.S. citizenship at magiging inadmissible ang dayuhan dahil dito.

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An alien who falsely claims to be a U.S. citizen may be found to be inadmissible to the U.S. The following are the elements of false claim to U.S. citizenship: (1) the alien made a representation of U.S. citizenship; (2) the representation was false; (3) the alien made the representation knowingly; and (4) the alien made the representation for any purpose or benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) or any other federal or state law.

An alien may claim to be a U.S. citizen in interviews, written applications or by submitting documentary evidence to a U.S. government official, any federal, state or local official, or even to a private person, such as an employer. For USCIS to consider the claim to U.S. citizenship to be false, the alien must knowingly misrepresent the fact that he is a citizen of the U.S. The alien must have known that he was not a U.S. citizen at the time that the claim was made. If the alien did not know that the claim to citizenship was false, the alien cannot be considered as having made a false claim to citizenship.

The law only makes an alien inadmissible for falsely claiming U.S. citizenship if the alien falsely represents himself to be a U.S. citizen for any purpose or benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), or any federal or state law. Furthermore, U.S. citizenship must matter to the purpose or benefit sought. This means that U.S.citizenship must be material to the purpose or benefit sought, such as in an application for U.S. passport, entry into the U.S. where the alien claims to be a U.S. citizen, and in obtaining employment by filling-up Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form under a claim of U.S. citizenship. If the alien also falsely claims U.S. citizenship to avoid negative legal consequences such as being placed in removal proceedings, he is inadmissible.

Likewise, if the alien claimed to be a U.S. citizen to avoid showing valid and unexpired work authorization documents to accept an offer of employment, he is inadmissible.

In order for an alien to be inadmissible, the false claim to U.S. citizenship must be material to the purpose or benefit sought. In decided cases, the court found that an alien’s false claim to U.S. citizenship to local police, while he was being arrested for disorderly conduct, and a false claim of U.S. citizenship on a Small Business Administration loan application, have nothing to do with citizenship status. Hence, the aliens in these situations were not found to be inadmissible. However, a false claim to U.S. citizenship on an application for a federal student loan makes an alien inadmissible because U.S. citizenship is a prerequisite to such a loan.

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ATTY. RHEA SAMSON is the principal of SAMSON LAW FIRM, P.C. She has been a member of the State Bar of California for over 15 years and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for over 20 years. Atty. Samson received her Legal Management degree from the Ateneo de Manila University and her Juris Doctor degree from the Ateneo Law School. She was a Professor for over 10 years, teaching Obligations and Contracts, Labor Laws and Social Legislation and Taxation Law. Atty Samson is the author of The Law on Obligations and Contracts (2016), Working with Labor Laws-Revised Edition (2014) and Working with Labor Laws (2005).

SAMSON LAW FIRM, P.C., 3580 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1710, Los Angeles, CA 90010; Phone: (213) 274-4561; Email: info@samsonlawfirmpc.com.

Atty. Rhea Samson
Atty. Rhea Samson

ATTY. RHEA SAMSON is the principal of SAMSON LAW FIRM, PC. She has been a member of the State Bar of California for over 15 years and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for over 20 years. Atty. Samson received her Legal Management degree from the Ateneo de Manila University and her Juris Doctor degree from the Ateneo Law School. She was a Professor for over 10 years, teaching Obligations and Contracts, Labor Laws and Social Legislation and Taxation Law. Atty. Samson is the author of The Law on Obligations and Contracts (2016), Working with Labor Laws-Revised Edition (2014) and Working with Labor Laws (2005). Visit our office at SAMSON LAW FIRM, P.C., 3580 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1710, Los Angeles, CA 90010; Phone: (213) 381-5710; Email: info@samsonlawfirmpc.com.

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