Undocumented immigrants who were brought to Louisiana as children have to deal with many different barriers throughout their lives. There are not many options under U.S. immigration law for these people, even though many do not remember ever living anywhere else. The situation can be even more complicated for people who do not find out they are undocumented until adulthood.
After living in the country for nearly 50 years, a veteran of the U.S. Navy recently discovery that he is not an American citizen. This discovery did not come to light during his military service, during which time he deployed on five separate occasions. It was not even uncovered during the past 20 years he working in U.S. Customs and Border Protection — CBP — as an immigration officer.
This information only came out when he tried to sponsor his brother’s immigration to the U.S. from Mexico. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services — USCIS — reviewed the man’s citizenship paperwork but determined that it was falsified. He was contacted by the Office of the Inspector General — OIG — and told that he was not a citizen after all, and that a birth certificate showed that Mexico was his place of birth.
The OIG launched a criminal investigation since the immigration application was technically falsified, but eventually cleared the man of any wrongdoing since he truly believed that he was a citizen. This was not the end of his problems. CBP fired him from his position as an immigration officer and authorities stalled his application for residency. Despite the fact that it was not his fault, USCIS say the application is stalled because of the falsified information on the application he submitted for his brother.
Living as an undocumented immigrant in Louisiana is not easy. Even though there are options that some people can take advantage of, there are many old and outdated rules in U.S. immigration law that can affect a person’s eligibility. Some people might even be afraid to try any of those options because they are worried they will be denied and then also be under the watch of immigration officials. This does not have to be the outcome, and an experienced immigration lawyer can usually explain a person’s options based on his or her situation.