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discovers non-citizenship after 25 years

discovers non-citizenship after 25 years

Old Dec 16th 2004, 4:23 pm
  #1  
Deanjay
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Default discovers non-citizenship after 25 years

Hi Everyone,

Truth is stranger than fiction...

A friend of mine: She has lived in the US for all 27 years of her life as
far as she knew, gone to school and even served in the US Marines for almost
5 years.

Well, she went to renew her driver's license or apply for something or other
a few weeks back, and she came to find out she is not a US citizen. Upon
digging, she finds out that her dad had moved here and brought her from
Ireland a long time ago--she was too young to remember. Her dad is deceased;
she is told all this by the lady she has always believed to be her mom--the
woman her dad married--who never adopted her, so she is not a citizen by
birth, adoption or naturalization.

Are there any special INS provisions for such people, or will she have to
start from scratch and apply for status like everyone else? Should she just
hire a lawyer? Her military service should count for something, right?


Dean
 
Old Dec 16th 2004, 10:54 pm
  #2  
crg
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Default Re: discovers non-citizenship after 25 years

Originally Posted by Deanjay
Hi Everyone,

Truth is stranger than fiction...

A friend of mine: She has lived in the US for all 27 years of her life as
far as she knew, gone to school and even served in the US Marines for almost
5 years.

Well, she went to renew her driver's license or apply for something or other
a few weeks back, and she came to find out she is not a US citizen. Upon
digging, she finds out that her dad had moved here and brought her from
Ireland a long time ago--she was too young to remember. Her dad is deceased;
she is told all this by the lady she has always believed to be her mom--the
woman her dad married--who never adopted her, so she is not a citizen by
birth, adoption or naturalization.

Are there any special INS provisions for such people, or will she have to
start from scratch and apply for status like everyone else? Should she just
hire a lawyer? Her military service should count for something, right?


Dean
She's supposed to be at least a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) to serve in the Marines.
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Old Dec 16th 2004, 11:14 pm
  #3  
JAJ
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Default Re: discovers non-citizenship after 25 years

Did her father become a naturalised US citizen? And on what basis did her father migrate to the US? Was her natural mother deceased?

One wonders how she managed without a US passport for so long.

Jeremy

Originally Posted by Deanjay
Hi Everyone,

Truth is stranger than fiction...

A friend of mine: She has lived in the US for all 27 years of her life as
far as she knew, gone to school and even served in the US Marines for almost
5 years.

Well, she went to renew her driver's license or apply for something or other
a few weeks back, and she came to find out she is not a US citizen. Upon
digging, she finds out that her dad had moved here and brought her from
Ireland a long time ago--she was too young to remember. Her dad is deceased;
she is told all this by the lady she has always believed to be her mom--the
woman her dad married--who never adopted her, so she is not a citizen by
birth, adoption or naturalization.

Are there any special INS provisions for such people, or will she have to
start from scratch and apply for status like everyone else? Should she just
hire a lawyer? Her military service should count for something, right?


Dean
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Old Dec 17th 2004, 12:12 am
  #4  
Mikey Total
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Default Re: discovers non-citizenship after 25 years

I would think that in those 27 years, she would have had to use her
birth certificate at some point. Especially for joining the Marines. Or
getting her DL. How could she not know?

Best of luck to your friend, Dean.


On Fri, 17 Dec 2004 00:23:49 -0500, Deanjay wrote:

    > Hi Everyone,
    >
    > Truth is stranger than fiction...
    >
    > A friend of mine: She has lived in the US for all 27 years of her life
    > as far as she knew, gone to school and even served in the US Marines for
    > almost 5 years.
    >
    > Well, she went to renew her driver's license or apply for something or
    > other a few weeks back, and she came to find out she is not a US
    > citizen. Upon digging, she finds out that her dad had moved here and
    > brought her from Ireland a long time ago--she was too young to remember.
    > Her dad is deceased; she is told all this by the lady she has always
    > believed to be her mom--the woman her dad married--who never adopted
    > her, so she is not a citizen by birth, adoption or naturalization.
    >
    > Are there any special INS provisions for such people, or will she have
    > to start from scratch and apply for status like everyone else? Should
    > she just hire a lawyer? Her military service should count for something,
    > right?
    >
    >
    > Dean
 
Old Dec 18th 2004, 4:23 am
  #5  
Rich Wales
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Default Re: discovers non-citizenship after 25 years

"Dean" wrote:

> A friend of mine: She has lived in the US for all 27 years of
> her life as far as she knew . . . . she came to find out she
> is not a US citizen. Upon digging, she finds out that her
> dad had moved here and brought her from Ireland a long time
> ago--she was too young to remember.

Good grief. I would STRONGLY suggest that this person should hire
a VERY, VERY GOOD immigration lawyer IMMEDIATELY.

I would be particularly worried because of a law I understand was
enacted a while back that called for mandatory deportation of any
non-citizen who had ever claimed to be a US citizen for purposes of
voting or doing anything else that only citizens can do.

As originally written, I don't believe this law had any allowances
for innocent mistakes -- i.e., people who had honestly, in good
faith, thought all their lives that they were US citizens, but
turned out not to be after all, were still treated like criminals.

I think the law was amended later on to provide some measure of
relief for honest misunderstandings, but I don't know whether the
changes would apply to Dean's friend's situation or not. That's
why I would urge her to talk to a lawyer right away (and definitely
NOT talk to USCIS on her own first!).

Rich Wales [email protected] http://www.richw.org/dualcit/
*DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer, professional immigration consultant,
or consular officer. My comments are for discussion purposes only and
are not intended to be relied upon as legal or professional advice.
 
Old Dec 18th 2004, 1:03 pm
  #6  
crg
American Expat
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 7,598
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Default Re: discovers non-citizenship after 25 years

Originally Posted by Rich Wales
"Dean" wrote:

> A friend of mine: She has lived in the US for all 27 years of
> her life as far as she knew . . . . she came to find out she
> is not a US citizen. Upon digging, she finds out that her
> dad had moved here and brought her from Ireland a long time
> ago--she was too young to remember.

Good grief. I would STRONGLY suggest that this person should hire
a VERY, VERY GOOD immigration lawyer IMMEDIATELY.

I would be particularly worried because of a law I understand was
enacted a while back that called for mandatory deportation of any
non-citizen who had ever claimed to be a US citizen for purposes of
voting or doing anything else that only citizens can do.

As originally written, I don't believe this law had any allowances
for innocent mistakes -- i.e., people who had honestly, in good
faith, thought all their lives that they were US citizens, but
turned out not to be after all, were still treated like criminals.

I think the law was amended later on to provide some measure of
relief for honest misunderstandings, but I don't know whether the
changes would apply to Dean's friend's situation or not. That's
why I would urge her to talk to a lawyer right away (and definitely
NOT talk to USCIS on her own first!).

Rich Wales [email protected] http://www.richw.org/dualcit/
*DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer, professional immigration consultant,
or consular officer. My comments are for discussion purposes only and
are not intended to be relied upon as legal or professional advice.
I highly doubt this person unwittingly enlisted in the Marines as an illegal alien. There have been a few in the army in the past and even in the Border Patrol, but this required an overt fraudulent act on their part. The fact that this person claims to have done it without guilty knowledge makes it very unlikely. She would have been required to provided documentary proof of lawful status (at least LPR) to enlist in the Marines. If she claims to just now "realize" that she is unlawful then I find that hard to believe.

I have heard of people who legitemately thought they were born in the US to find out 45 years later that they weren't and then they were removed from the US. The person in this case was granted voluntary departure in order to apply as the spouse of a US citizen. The person was actually voting as well. That must have been a surprise.
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Old Dec 21st 2004, 12:27 pm
  #7  
Mija
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Default Re: discovers non-citizenship after 25 years

JAJ wrote:
    >One wonders how she managed without a US passport for so long.


I got my first passport when I was 32 years old. Until then, I'd
never had a birth certificate (my baptismal one served for my
DL and first marriage).

This happened to a friend of mine who didn't find out until he went
to get a passport at 45. He had SS#, DL and other documents based on
a lie his family had been telling him his whole life (again the use of
baptismal certificates to prove age).
 

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