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Has applicant ever committed a criminal offense, however minor, even if there was no

Has applicant ever committed a criminal offense, however minor, even if there was no

Old Apr 27th 2017, 5:01 pm
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Default Has applicant ever committed a criminal offense, however minor, even if there was no

... arrest.


I seen to recall, a few years back when I was still active here, discussions as to whether or not a traffic violation constituted a "criminal offense" that must be reported on an application or petition to UCIS. I don't recall what position I took at the time, but I found this question asked yesterday by Chief Justice Roberts in Maslenjak v. United States to be interesting:


“Some time ago, outside the statute of limitations, I drove 60 miles an hour in a 55-mile-an-hour zone,” the chief justice said, adding that he had not been caught.


The form that people seeking American citizenship must complete, he added, asks whether the applicant had ever committed a criminal offense, however minor, even if there was no arrest.


“If I answer that question no, 20 years after I was naturalized as a citizen, you can knock on my door and say, ‘Guess what, you’re not an American citizen after all’?” Chief Justice Roberts asked.

Robert A. Parker, a Justice Department lawyer, said the offense had to be disclosed. Chief Justice Roberts seemed shocked. “Oh, come on,” he said.


The chief justice asked again whether someone’s citizenship could turn on such an omission.


Mr. Parker did not back down. “If we can prove that you deliberately lied in answering that question, then yes,” he said.




https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/26/u...&nlid=37865350
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Old Apr 27th 2017, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: Has applicant ever committed a criminal offense, however minor, even if there was

That has always been my understanding of that question, but if, many years after the fact, there has never been an arrest, I would assume that evidence of any such crime might be a bit thin on the ground.

However if it turns out that you murdered Jill Dando before later emigrating to the US and becoming a USC then if you're arrested and convinced I would imagine that you might he stripped of your US citizen if you didn't disclose the crime you had committed but we're not arrested for.
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Old Apr 27th 2017, 9:21 pm
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Default Re: Has applicant ever committed a criminal offense, however minor, even if there was

In the context that the woman in the article had her citizenship removed, lying when seeking asylum, and citizenship, I can understand. I am having problems seeing how Justice Roberts equates that to not declaring breaking the law by speeding when not prosecuted.

Last edited by lansbury; Apr 27th 2017 at 9:26 pm.
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Old Apr 27th 2017, 9:40 pm
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Default Re: Has applicant ever committed a criminal offense, however minor, even if there was

Originally Posted by jeffreyhy View Post
The form that people seeking American citizenship must complete, he added, asks whether the applicant had ever committed a criminal offense, however minor, even if there was no arrest.
Speeding, on its own, is a moving violation and not a criminal offense... and certainly not 5 MPH over the limit - so, it's a ridiculous argument on its face.

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Old Apr 27th 2017, 10:25 pm
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Default Re: Has applicant ever committed a criminal offense, however minor, even if there was

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
Speeding, on its own, is a moving violation and not a criminal offense... and certainly not 5 MPH over the limit - so, it's a ridiculous argument on its face
That's not the wording of the question on N-400. It's "crime or offense". And speeding most certainly counts as an offense - "a violation of the law, a crime, often a minor one".
The transcript makes interesting reading. The government was basically arguing that materiality is immaterial. Any lie on N-400 under oath would be grounds for denaturalization.
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Old Apr 28th 2017, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: Has applicant ever committed a criminal offense, however minor, even if there was

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
That has always been my understanding of that question, but if, many years after the fact, there has never been an arrest, I would assume that evidence of any such crime might be a bit thin on the ground.
Not necessarily. The question actually asks "Have you EVER committed, assisted in committing, or attempted to commit, a crime or offense for which you were NOT arrested?" (italics are mine - bold is on the form). Riding a bike on the pavement is an offence in the UK - even for children below the age of criminal responsibility, it's still an offence - just one that the police will happily ignore. Got any pictures of yourself riding a bike on the pavement in the UK? Got any pictures of you with your kids riding their bikes? That's pretty solid proof that you committed (or assisted in committing) an offense. If you answered "no" to that question, you lied - and the government appears to be claiming that should be enough for denaturalization. The underlying offense is immaterial - the lie itself under oath is what matters. We already know that lying during the immigration/naturalization process is bad - Roberts was simply illustrating how that ridiculously overbroad question could lead to virtually everyone that's been through the process to have his citizenship removed.
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Old May 1st 2017, 7:35 pm
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Default Re: Has applicant ever committed a criminal offense, however minor, even if there was

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
That has always been my understanding of that question, but if, many years after the fact, there has never been an arrest.
IMO, a person is unable to commit a crime unless they have been accused of it. That's my interpretation of that question; though it's clearly aimed at people - like the subject in question - who are caught up in serious crimes (such as being an accessory to genocide).

Incidentally, when I had my N-400 interview, I ticked 'yes' to this question:
"Have you EVER committed,assisted in committing, or attempted to commit, a crime or offense for which you were NOT arrested?"

My IO wanted to know why I had ticked yes to this. I explained that I had been prosecuted in the UK for speeding offence which resulted in a conviction but one for which I was never arrested.

So I answered the question correctly as it asked, however, the IO said I should have answered 'No' and corrected it as appropriate.

Interesting eh?
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Old May 1st 2017, 7:37 pm
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Default Re: Has applicant ever committed a criminal offense, however minor, even if there was

Originally Posted by iarnell View Post
The transcript makes interesting reading. The government was basically arguing that materiality is immaterial. Any lie on N-400 under oath would be grounds for denaturalization.
That's always been my take on the process, FWIW.
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Old May 6th 2017, 2:26 pm
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Default Re: Has applicant ever committed a criminal offense, however minor, even if there was

That's what the justices said - it's a ridiculous argument, at least in this extreme hypothetical. Yet the government attorney stood by it. The point being, USCIS and ICE (whichever, or both) are willing to use the question as a tool to remove people and it appears that they are willing to go to questionable lengths with it.

Where is the point at which the Supremes will agree that the argument is valid? And practically speaking, who wants to risk having to take a case to the Supremes to find out if their situation is valid or ridiculous?

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
Speeding, on its own, is a moving violation and not a criminal offense... and certainly not 5 MPH over the limit - so, it's a ridiculous argument on its face.

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