Legal Briefings: Untruth Be Told: No Citizenship for You

By Staff Report

Feb. 3, 2015

After losing his student visa status because of financial reasons, Raymond Dakura remained in the United States in the hopes of returning to school. He obtained two jobs using the identities of U.S. citizens, and completed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s employment eligibility verification Form I-9 using those identities and attesting that he was a “citizen or national of the United States.” Dakura was reported to the authorities and removal proceedings were instituted. While those proceedings were pending, Dakura married a U.S. citizen and applied to the Department of Homeland Security for recognition of their marriage and to adjust his status to lawful, permanent resident.

An immigration judge denied Dakura’s application and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit agreed, and held that Dakura was inadmissible because the Immigration and Nationality Act’s false-claim bar provides that an alien who falsely represents himself to be a citizen of the U.S. is inadmissible for citizenship status.

The court held that private employment is an “immigration benefit,” and it does not matter that Dakura did not claim that he, himself, was a U.S. citizen because his purpose was to obtain employment. Dakura v. Holder, No. 13-2246 4th Cir. (Nov. 24, 2014).

IMPACT: Employees should be cautioned of the consequences of falsely claiming to be U.S. citizens. Also, employers should ensure that Form I-9 documentation is finalized by applicants.

James E. Hall, Mark T. Kobata and Marty Denis are partners in the law firm Barlow, Kobata and Denis, which has offices in Los Angeles and Chicago. To comment, email FollowWorkforce on Twitter at @workforcenews.

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