Legalization of same sex spouse for undocumented immigrants

In the Obama comprehensive immigration reform there is enormous emphasis on keeping families together and the great news is that now those of you who are in a gay or lesbian relationship will have the same rights as heterosexual couples.  Not only does the DOMA ruling makes it more probably that CIR will become law, but it also means that gays and lesbians will not be discriminated.  So, nothing else really changes, except that when you are doing the paperwork for RPI status, you will be able to include your same sex partner.  The other great news is that if you are in a same-sex relationship with someone who is in the United States legally (citizen or permanent resident or other legal status), you will be able to adjust your status without waiting for immigration bill to become law.

Did Massachusetts DREAMers disqualify themselves from CIR?

Here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where DREAMers Are Us is based, I was closely following the news related to giving in-state tuition to DREAMers by Governor Deval Patrick.  In this state with some of the finest colleges and universities, it was expected that all these DREAMers would be able to go to college and the Governor fought hard for them.  Looks like it was a waste.  So far not even 50 students have taken advantage of the exemption (out of approximately 300,000).  So what went wrong?

  1. The immigrant rights groups have a hidden agenda to exaggerate numbers so that they can take advantage of all the government and charitable goodies that come their way.  These activists groups clearly overestimated the number of DREAMers eligible for DACA, predicting that millions of young undocumented immigrants will come out of the shadows.  In that sense, DACA too has been a massive disappointment.
  2. DREAMers are just too poor to go to college to pay for the rest of the expenses.
  3. It is also being hypothesized that many DREAMers have lied about their undocumented status and have declared themselves to be US citizens.

What are the implications?

If you fraudulently checked the US citizenship box on your college application, then you will not be eligible for legalization to RPI status under Immigration Reform.  Even if you claimed to be an American in high school before the age of 18, you can seek a waiver, but after 18 doing so will make you ineligible.  You maybe able to appeal to a judge but it will be hard to convince a judge that you did not know your citizenship status while being smart enough to attend college.  If you are one of these cases, you need to immediately correct the mistake in your college records and that might be counted as a plus while filing for relief in the courts, but if you do not wish to do so, you will at least have had excellent college education from the US that can be put to great use in your native country, or you can continue to live as an undocumented in America, since it is expected that only about 50% of the illegal immigrants will legalize; the balance 5 million or so will continue with their lives without status (most experts believe that all the tough talk about eVerify is utter nonsense and the US Government has no intention whatsoever of enforcing it).

DACA approved after lying under oath

It looks like DREAMers and all other undocumented immigrants will have an easier path getting approved for RPI immigration status assuming what a sloppy job USCIS is doing with DACA applications.  After highlighting that USCIS has approved DREAMers with fake documents and even those with more than 3 misdemeanors, my attention was drawn to a DREAMer who admits to lying under oath during an interview for DACA with USCIS agents being approved.  As you can see in the image below of the story told by the DREAMer on an online forum (click the image to see the larger version), basically he used a fraudulent Social Security number to work but when asked about it by the officers under oath, he lied about it (the agency has deliberately not asked about it in USCIS Form I-821D so lying is not necessary).  The approval came right away and it is expected that such candidates will be automatically approved for RPI visas without additional scrutiny, followed by green cards and eventually citizenship.


Story of illegal immigrant approved after lying under oath during field interview

So is it okay to lie to the USCIS under oath?  Many of you will see this (there are many other stories about immigrants who lied on their applications or submitted fraudulent documents and are now American citizens) as a reason to submit false testimony to the Federal Government either in your application or during an interview, but legally, this is never acceptable (even though the poorly staffed USCIS with their low pay and constant Republican attacks mean that the officers will never have the time and resources to check anything and will basically be rubber stamping all the applications they receive).  It is a very serious crime, if caught (and you can be caught even after you naturalize), punishable by rejection of the application and jail time prior to deportation.

Job background check for DACA approved DREAMers

While the DREAMers have found a huge opportunity with DACA, it is not possible to just go on with their lives like regular Americans.  A rapidly developing problem for these folks is finding work.  Not only is the employment environment bleak (forcing many DACA approved DREAMers to continue working at their old jobs still using their fake Social Security numbers, while being in possession of a valid SSN and work permit; others continue to work under fake or stolen identities), those who are able to find new jobs are running into problems with background checks commonly used by employers.

When DREAMers with professional qualifications want to take advantage of their previous (illegal) work to prove that they have the relevant work experience or to prove that they are superior candidates, they have to provide a lot of details.  Unfortunately, since their identities do not match with the databases used by research firms, it comes across as if they have been lying about their skills and experience, a reason enough for rejection without assigning any cause (the employers typically send a canned response never disclosing that they found you to be lying on your application).


Some candidates have approached or were approached by background investigation firms and they confessed to working without valid documents or that they were sill undocumented or that they had used fake papers in the past to work, and not surprisingly, this information gets included in the report but also entered into the databases used by these firms.  Obviously, no corporation will hire an individual who admits to working illegally or for stealing identities, particularly if the job requires highest level of integrity, like in finance, law, security, intelligence, research, banking, etc.

What can DREAMers do to deal with this dilemma?  It is a very difficult situation to be in and the best option is to avoid applying to employers for whom a clean background is a must.  So if you were lying or using fraudulent documents to be in the United States and work, how can you be trusted about anything else, the argument goes in the minds of a recruiter, who probably has dozens of other candidates to choose from, and there is no way to win here.  That is why it is best to stick with small employers that are not likely to engage in a thorough background investigation and often rely on just picking up the phone and calling your references.  You may have to do this for a few years (at least two is good for most entry level jobs and about five for mid management jobs) and that way you can develop a good history over time.  But remember that in some databases you will never come across as clean and there are some jobs that you will never be able to get simply because a lot of large corporations are very meticulous about these things and often do not even read the background reports seriously.  If the background research firm sends a report with a few red flags about you, they simply hire the next candidate.  Basically, it is the price you will need to pay for your past as a lawbreaker.