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BIA Finds Respondent Subject to “Material Support” Bar Because of Cooking and Cleaning She Performed Under Threat of Death

In a decision published recently, the BIA remanded the record to the immigration judge for entry of a new decision after finding that the respondent afforded material support to the guerillas in El Salvador in 1990 because the forced labor she provided in the form of cooking, cleaning, and washing their clothes aided them in continuing their mission of armed and violent opposition to the Salvadoran government.12:54 AM

Mother’s and children from Central America not a threat to national security.

In the Military? See if you qualify to become a U.S. Citizen.

I’m in the Military. Can I naturalize?

Question: I’m in the military and I know somebody who was in the military years ago. Can we become U.S. Citizens?

Answer: Members and certain veterans of the U.S. armed forces may be eligible for naturalization through their military service under a couple of different sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Additionally, the INA provides for posthumous naturalization if that particular person in the military has died.

Question: What branches of the armed services will qualify for military naturalization?

Answer: Qualifying military service is generally in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and certain components of the National Guard and the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve. The general requirements for naturalization may be diminished or waived for qualifying service member.

Question: I am still in the military and have served for two years. What do I qualify for under the INA?

Answer: You may qualify for naturalization through serving at least one year of qualifying service during “Peacetime”. Of course, if you have served during a time of designated hostilities, you may qualify for the other provision of military naturalization which waives even more provisions to allow you to become a U.S. Citizen. However, under the peacetime provisions, a person who has served honorably in the U.S. armed forces at any time may be eligible to apply for naturalization. The military community sometimes refers to this as “peacetime naturalization.”

Question: What are the requirements for ‘peacetime naturalization’ for somebody in the military?

Answer: You must be age 18 or older, have served honorably in the U.S. armed forces for at least 1 year and, if separated from the U.S. armed forces, have been separated honorably; be a permanent resident at the time of examination on the naturalization application; be able to read, write, and speak basic English; Have a knowledge of U.S. history and government (civics); Have been a person of good moral character during all relevant periods under the law; and have an attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution and be well disposed to the good order and happiness of the U.S. during all relevant periods under the law.

Question: What about the residency and physical presence requirements? I have been serving outside the U.S for my tour of duty and do not have physical presence requirement.

Answer: If you are filing this naturalization application under the peacetime provisions, and you are still serving or have been honorably discharged no more than 6 months ago, you are not required to meet the residence and physical presence requirements. Otherwise, you are required to meet those provisions.

Question: What about my friend who served years ago, but was serving in a period of hostility?

Answer: Generally, members of the U.S. armed forces who serve honorably for any period of time (even 1 day) during specifically designated periods of hostilities are eligible for naturalization under this provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Question: What are the requirements for naturalization for people who served under a period of hostility?

Answer: In general, an applicant for naturalization under this provision must have served honorably in active-duty status or as a member of the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve, for any amount of time during a designated period of hostilities and, if separated from the U.S. armed forces, have been separated honorably.

Question: My friend was never a lawful permanent resident. Is that a requirement?

Answer: Generally, the answer is yes. However, your friend would not be required to have been a resident if that person has been physically present in the United States or certain territories at the time of enlistment or induction (regardless of whether that person was admitted as a permanent resident).

Question: Does a person under this section have be a certain age?

Answer: There is no minimum age requirement for an applicant under this section.

Question: What are the designated periods of hostility?

Answer: The designated periods of hostilities are: April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918; September 1, 1939 to December 31, 1946; June 25, 1950 to July 1, 1955; February 28, 1961 to October 15, 1978
August 2, 1990 to April 11, 1991; September 11, 2001 until the present. Therefore, any military personnel serving anytime from September 11, 2001 until now can apply under this provision of naturalization during hostilities if they qualify.

Question: What about if the person died while serving in the military?

Answer: There is what is known as Posthumous Citizenship for Military Members. Generally, individuals who served honorably in the U.S. armed forces and who died as a result of injury or disease incurred while serving in an active duty status during specified periods of military hostilities, as listed above, may be eligible for posthumous citizenship.

This application must be filed within 2 years of his or her death. If approved, a Certificate of Citizenship will be issued in the name of the deceased veteran establishing posthumously that he or she was a U.S. citizen on the date of his or her death.

Don’t even think about filing a frivolous asylum application.

Don’t even think about filing a frivolous asylum application!

Don’t even think about filing a frivolous asylum application!

Question: I have a friend who came into the U.S and filed a fake asylum application. Is there anything that can happen?

Answer: Yes. This would be one of the worse things that your friend could do. In fact, the consequences for filing a frivolous application are extremely severe. If such a ruling is made, then the law states that this person will NEVER be able to obtain immigration benefits for the rest of his or her life.

Question: How do we know if this ruling is properly made?

Answer: There are three parts to getting a ruling of a frivolous application on an asylum application. First, the application must be frivolous. Second, it must be knowingly filed. Finally, the foreign national must have been given the proper advisals on the consequences of filing a frivolous application.

Question: On the first item, what does frivolous mean?

Answer: This means that the application was simply fake and had absolutely no basis in truth. Essentially, it was a fraudulent application.

Question: If the asylum application is denied, does that mean that it is frivolous?

Answer: No. Having an asylum application denied is far better than having a frivolous application. Getting denied might be for a wide variety of reasons such as there was not sufficient proof or that there was an adverse credibility finding, or that the legal basis for the asylum application is not applicable. These matters could be appealed or a motion to reopen could be made.

Question: How do you know if the foreign national ‘knowingly’ made the frivolous application?

Answer: This is a question of fact. However, if for example, the person came into the United States and did not speak a word of English and a ‘notario’ or somebody claiming to be an expert in Immigration Law simply filled out a fake application so that the foreign national would get a work-permit, then it is arguable it is not knowingly submitted. Especially if the foreign national was just told to sign everywhere without reading the application or understanding the application or what is said.

Question: What types of advisals exactly must be given in order for this section of law to be applicable?

Answer: The law specifies two major advisals that must be given: 1) the right to counsel and 2) what happens if a frivolous asylum application is filed. Specifically, if the Attorney General determines that an alien has knowingly made a frivolous application for asylum and the alien has received the notice, the alien shall be permanently ineligible for any benefits under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Question: What is the ‘notice’ you referred to above? Specifically, how does the foreign national have to received the notice?

Answer: It has to be given at the time the asylum application is submitted. Therefore, if the frivolous asylum application is filed and is knowingly filed, but no advisals given, then the person does not fall under this area of law. It should then be immediately withdrawn.

Question: If somebody got this ruling, but years later marries a U.S. Citizen and has children and no crimes, can he adjust?

Answer: No. The bar against immigration benefits is for life. Therefore, I would have to go back to the original ruling and determine if it was incorrect and/or whether one of the elements necessary for the permanent bar to take effect has not been properly complied with by the government. I would then make a Motion to Reopen to try to get this ruling vacated.

In any case, it is an extremely harsh ruling and must be avoided at all realistic costs.

I think I’m going to be killed if I go back to my home country. What can I do?

I fear I’m going to be killed if I go back to my home country. What can I do?

I’m going to be beaten if I’m sent back to my country!

Question: I have to escape my country. I don’t know what to do. I want to go to the United States and try to get help. What can I do?

Answer: Assuming you do not have proper entry documents, the border patrol will try to remove you from the United States. However, if a person subject to expedited removal indicates a wish to apply for asylum or expresses a fear of persecution, he or she must be referred to an asylum officer for an interview. Consultation with counsel is allowed only if it will not unduly delay the process. The asylum officer must keep a written record of the “credible fear” interview.
A person found to have a credible fear will be placed in full removal proceedings. A person found to have a credible fear who establishes identity and that he or she is not a flight risk or a danger to the community should, absent additional factors, be paroled and not detained. In those proceedings, if found inadmissible by the IJ, the respondent may apply for asylum as a form of relief from removal. The respondent also may apply for any other form of relief from removal for which he or she may be eligible.

Question: What exactly does ‘credible fear’ mean?

Answer: The term “credible fear” is defined as “a significant possibility, taking into account the credibility of the statements made by you in support of the your claim and such other facts as are known to the officer, that you could establish eligibility for asylum.”
Question: Is it as difficult to get a credible fear determination as it would be to win asylum?
Answer: A “credible fear of persecution” is a lower standard than that required for an actual grant of asylum. For an actual grant of asylum, the applicant must show that he or she has experienced past persecution or that he or she has a well-founded fear of persecution in the future. The “well-founded” fear standard has been determined to mean that a reasonable person in the applicant’s position would fear persecution.

Question: What if I cannot get the asylum officer to agree and rule and there is a credible fear of persecution?

Answer: If the asylum officer finds that the you do not have a credible fear of persecution, you can request that the Immigration Judge review the asylum officer’s decision. The Immigration Judge may review the asylum officer’s decision either in person or telephonically, within seven days, and you would have to be detained during the review. If the Immigration Judge determines that you do have a credible fear of persecution, then you will be placed in regular INA §240 removal proceedings, in which you may file an application for asylum and withholding of removal.

Question: If either the asylum officer or the Immigration Judge through review determine that there is in fact a credible fear of persecution, will I be detained the entire time?
Answer: Yes, you should be eligible to ask for bond. There are valid cases that state that individuals, other than arriving aliens, who initially were placed in expedited removal but who subsequently passed credible fear interviews and were placed in INA §240 removal proceedings are eligible for bond. For example, people who are in expedited removal because they have been in the United States less than 14 days and are caught within 100 miles of a land border are eligible for bond once they have passed a credible fear interview.
Question: What about stowaways?
Answer: They are eligible for a credible fear interview exactly as anyone else would be eligible.
Question: What will I get if the asylum officer agrees that there is a credible fear?
Answer: The asylum officer will issue you a Form I-863, Notice to Referral to Immigration Judge. Before the Immigration Judge, you may only apply for asylum, withholding of removal, or relief under the Convention Against Torture. Technically, you would not be able to apply for other forms of relief other than asylum or withholding.
Question: If I get a denied credible fear determination, will I get a form?
Answer: You will get written notice of the decision and the negative decision is issued on Form I-869, Record of Negative Credible Fear Finding and Request for Review by Immigration Judge. It may be possible at this point, however, to arrange for a credible fear “reinterview.”

Question: Who is entitled to the ‘credible fear interview’?
Answer: Anyone who enters the United States because they possess either false documents or no documents. A false document may include a facially valid document that an individual obtained fraudulently or through willful misrepresentation of a material fact. Expedited removal also applies to individuals seeking transit through the United States at a port of entry.

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