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False I-9’s Can Constitute Claim to U.S. Citizenship and Bar Relief

A recent decision issued by the Board of immigration Appeals (BIA) finds that even if the Respondent does not speak English and does not complete the I-9 employment form herself, she will still be found to have made a false claim to US Citizenship. In this unpublished BIA decision, the Respondent claims that she did not make a claim to be a US citizen because she did not complete the I-9 employment form on her own and she did not understand the contents of the I-9 form. The I-9 form is also known as the Employment Verification Form, and it is used to show that a person is able to legally work in the U.S.

The BIA disagreed with the Respondent’s argument, stating that the Respondent made a false claim to US citizenship. The BIA relied on the facts that the Respondent accompanied the woman preparing the I-9 form on her behalf, the Respondent posed for the picture, she possessed the ID and used the false ID to work, and she also used the false name. The BIA held that these actions show that the Respondent was a willing participant and fully understood what was taking place.

The Respondent used the false name of Carmen Colon and claimed to be born in Puerto Rico. She had a U.S. Birth Certificate with the name of Carmen Colon. The Immigration Judge and the BIA, on appeal, both held that the Respondent’s actions show she made a false claim to US citizenship. Therefore the Respondent was found removable from the U.S. and her appeal was dismissed.

The Immigration Judge previously found that the Respondent, having made a false claim to US citizenship, “…is not eligible for most, if any, relief from removal from the United States.” The Respondent’s attorney attempted to file a claim for Asylum as a last resort, but the Immigration Judge did not grant that application, stating that if her claim was valid and sincere, she would have filed for asylum upon her entry into the U.S. and not seven (7) years later while she is in removal proceedings.