False Claim to U.S. Citizenship

A recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals has put a light on the dangers of falsely claiming United States Citizenship. INA Section 212(a)(6)(C)(ii) states that any alien who falsely represents themselves to a U.S. citizen for any purpose or benefit will be inadmissible into the United States and removed from the United States.

In the case, Raymond Dakura, a native of Ghana, was in the United States on a non-immigrant F-1 student visa. Mr. Dakura’s uncle was paying for his tuition and providing financial support for his living expenses. Mr. Dakura’s uncle passed away. Dakura had to leave school. He intended to begin working in order to recoup enough money to pay for his tuition to reenter school. Mr. Dakura applied for employment at a retail store and fast food restaurant. Since Mr. Dakura did not have employment authorization, he assumed the identities of two U.S. citizens and a government verification form where he stated that he was an American citizen. Mr. Dakura worked for about a year before he was arrested.

Mr. Dakura was placed in removal proceedings for being out of status and falsely claiming U.S. citizenship. During the proceedings, Mr. Dakura married a U.S. citizen. His wife filed an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative for Mr. Dakura. The I-130 was approved. Mr. Dakura then filed for adjustment of status to obtain permanent resident status and stay in the United States. The Immigration Judge denied the adjustment of status since Mr. Dakura purposefully represented himself as a U.S. Citizen to obtain employment. The Immigration Judge stated that false claims to U.S. citizenship makes Mr. Dakura inadmissible and ineligible to adjust status. The Board of Immigration Appeals and the United States Court of Appeals agreed with the Immigration Judge’s decision.

Mr. Dakura’s false statement has permanently barred him from ever re-entering the United States in any type of visa. It is important for any foreign national in the United States to be careful when they are asked their citizenship. The following are the most routine places where foreign nationals may be asked about their citizenship.

  • Oral statements or testimony
  • Employment applications
  • Application for Driver’s License
  • Mortgage or Loan Applications
  • College applications or student loans
  • Voter Registration or voting
  • Application for government benefits or licenses
  • Immigration inspection or applications
  • Applications for a U.S. Passport

Unlike fraud and misrepresentation inadmissibility grounds, false claims to U.S. citizenship does not have to be made before a U.S. government official and are not limited to immigration benefits. Any false claim to U.S. citizenship where the person is intentionally making a false claim to gain any type of benefit makes the person inadmissible to the United States. There is no waiver of inadmissibility for a false claim to U.S. citizenship and therefore it makes the individual permanently inadmissible.

Category: Adjustment of Status, US Immigration

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Siam Legal is a full service law firm but it has an extensive range of immigration, corporate, and real estate experience accessible to clients both domestically and internationally. It has offices strategically located throughout the major cities in Thailand including Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Samui and Phuket along with international representative offices in Australia, London and Las Vegas.