The Consequences of Making False Claim to U.S. Citizenship

In a recent decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), the BIA stated that a foreigner who only claimed on a passport application that she was born in Texas is not only deportable but can never again enter the United States in any form. This decision reminds us that the Immigration and Nationality Act (the Act) strictly prohibits anyone who is not a citizen of the United States from claiming, in any way, that he or she is a citizen. This BIA decision serves as a notice that anyone who is not a U.S. citizen should be careful never to claim, in any way, that they were born in the United States or that they are citizens of the United States. Keep in mind that signing any document that says you are a citizen is the same as saying out loud that you are a citizen. (For example, registration to vote.) You should always be aware that making a false representation of being a citizen is not only strictly prohibited by law, but also that fact causes you to be permanently banned from entering the United States. There are no exceptions or forgiveness of this punishment. (The decision is: Matter of Olga BARCENAS-BARRERA, Houston, Texas, Decided June 19, 2009.)