Monday, November 17, 2008

False claim of Citizenship on I-9 form - Cancellation of Removal

An alien who has made a false claim of citizenship may be considered a person who is not of good moral character, but the catch-all provision of section 101(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(f) (2006), does not automatically mandate such a finding.

The BIA held in Matter of Viviana Alejandra GUADARRAMA de Contreras, 24 I&N Dec. 625 (BIA 2008) that a person, who has made a false claim of United States citizenship is not statutory barred from the exercise of the discretionary relief such as cancellation of removal.
Section 101(f) of the INA provides that no person can establish good moral character if he or she is within any of certain classes enumerated in the statute. In addition, a “catch-all” provision at the end of the section states that “[t]he fact that any person is not within any of the foregoing classes shall not preclude a finding that for other reasons such person is or was not of good moral character.” The Act does not, however, mandate such an outcome. See Matter of K-, 3 I&N Dec. 180, 181-82 (BIA 1949) (stating that the alien was not precluded from showing good moral character where he made a false claim of citizenship in order to keep his job); Matter of K-, 3I&N Dec. 69, 71 (BIA 1947) (stating that while the alien’s actions in misrepresenting himself as a citizen to obtain employment were not condoned, they did not preclude him from establishing good moral character).

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