Many people consulted with me after their case was denied by a USCIS officer or consul at the Embassy. In some cases, the person signed a confession, but now claims it was not true. I asked them that if it was not true, why did they sign it? They reply the USCIS officer or consul told them, “It will be good for your case if you sign this.” Trusting the officer or consul, the person dutifully signed the confession, relying on the officer’s assurance that by signing it, it would be helpful.
But helpful to whom? Signing a confession would certainly be helpful to the government, as that would help support and justify a denial or refusal. But I cannot see how confessing to something a person did not do would ever be helpful to their case.
Sometimes, a loving couple is in a good faith marriage, yet sign a confession that it’s a fixed marriage. There have been other cases where a person, under petition by an employer, “confesses” they will repay the employer for all immigration costs, even though the employer is shouldering all costs, because the consul told them “it will be helpful for your case if you sign.”
If a person is not entitled to an immigration benefit, they should not be applying in the first place. If they are caught, a denial would be justified. But a person should not claim to be tricked or entrapped into signing something that is not true because of assurances that by signing an untrue confession it would be “helpful” to their case.
That is why if you believe you were being pressured into signing confessions or statements that are not true, you should not do so. Once they are signed, it is very hard to retract or take back that signed confession and it is likely to be accepted as true. Instead, if you are asked to sign a statement, you should first have your attorney review the contents for accuracy and truthfulness. The bottom line is a person should of course be truthful and apply for immigration benefits only if they are entitled. They should not be signing confessions, admitting to things that are untrue because they felt they were pressured or persuaded that it would help their case.
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Michael J. Gurfinkel has been an attorney for over 35 years and is licensed, and an active member of the State Bars of California and New York. All immigration services are provided by, or under the supervision of, an active member of the State Bar of California. Each case is different and results may depend on the facts of the particular case. The information and opinions contained herein (including testimonials, “Success Stories”, endorsements and re-enactments) are of a general nature, and are not intended to apply to any particular case, and do not constitute a prediction, warranty, guarantee or legal advice regarding the outcome of your legal matter. No attorney-client relationship is, or shall be, established with any reader.
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