According to AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association), the Department of Homeland Security is in the process of changing its policy towards minors charged with making false claims to US Citizenship. False Claims are particularly dangerous given that one deemed to be culpable of such conduct is inadmissible under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(ii) as well as deportable under INA 237(a)(3)(D). Generally speaking, there is no waiver. Currently, there is a narrow exception. INA 237(a)(3)(D)(ii) states: “In the case of an alien making a representation…if each natural parent of the alien (or, in the case of an adopted alien, each adoptive parent of the alien) is or was a citizen (whether by birth or naturalization), the alien permanently resided in the United States prior to attaining the age of 16, and the alien reasonably believed at the time of making such representation that he or she was a citizen, the alien shall not be considered to be deportable….” INA 212(a)(6)(C)(ii)(II) has a similar provision regarding inadmissibility. Now, apparently, it looks like DHS may adopt an even more relaxed stance against those charged with making false claims if they are minors. This certainly would be a welcome change in policy given that it is arguable whether minors even have the requisite mental intent to engage in fraud. It would also be very timely, considering that there are over a million young people who potentially qualify for Deferred Action as a Childhood Arrival but who may scared to apply–and understandably so– because they may have made a false claim previously, whether in filling out a I-9 or any other type of form or application. It will be interesting to see whether any new policy changes will in turn result in more guidance from USCIS regarding Deferred Action Applications and how false claims will be considered.
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