Test results from my June 20 posting of an immigration test.

Sunday, July 12th, 2009
By: Jonathan MontagJ.D.

Put your pencils down. Here are the answers to the true-false quiz I posted on June 20.  Let’s review them.

1. Once an alien becomes a permanent resident, her or she automatically gets to stay in the United States even if he or she commits crimes, unless the crimes are very serious in nature or endanger national security.

False. Permanent residents, even those who entered the United States as infants and have never been back to their countries of origin, are routinely deported for crimes as minor as marijuana possession or a couple of shoplifting convictions.

2. A permanent resident can bring his spouse and children to the United States without much of a wait, exacerbating the problem of chain immigration.

False. The current wait for a Mexican to bring his spouse or child to the United States is at least seven years. Visas are available for petitions filed on or before September 22, 2002. If the child turns 21, he can expect to wait more than 17 years. Look at the visa bulletin yourself.

3. Any foreigner who successfully reaches U.S. shores and asks for asylum is immediately able to enter the country and obtain benefits  America traditionally provides those fleeing oppression.

False. Foreigners approaching the border are arrested and held in detention centers. After about one month they see an asylum officer who does an initial screening of their asylum claim – a credible fear interview. Then they are sent to a judge two to four weeks later. The judge sets an asylum hearing, about four months later. If the asylum seeker convinces the judge he is a bona fide asylee, he or she is released. Otherwise, the asylum seeker can expect months and years of continued detention.

4. An illegal alien can automatically stay in the United States if he or she marries a United States citizen which is why there are so many sham marriages.

False. To adjust status, an alien must have entered the United States with inspection or parole. If not, ordinarily the alien cannot adjust status, i.e., become a permanent resident without leaving the country unless someone filed a petition for the alien or his or her parents before April 30, 2001. If there has been no petition, the alien must go to a U.S. Consulate abroad to get a visa. If the alien has been in the United States illegally for more than a year, he or she cannot come back for ten years. He or she can seek a waiver if the alien can show extreme hardship to a citizen or permanent resident parent or spouse. Hardship to children or the alien himself or herself does not matter.

5. The government is not allowed to deport an alien who has United States citizen children, which explains why so many illegals have children.

False. Having a U.S. citizen child offers no shield from deportation. Aliens with U.S. citizen children are deported every day.

6. Any child who has a U.S. citizen parent automatically becomes a citizen of the United States.

False. The rules of acquiring citizenship from a parent are complex. In a nutshell, only a permanent resident becomes a citizen automatically if his or her parent becomes a citizen. A child may be a citizen at birth if his or her parent lived in the United States for ten years before the child was born. Different rules apply depending on the child’s date of birth, whether or not both parents are citizens, and whether the parents were married, and which parent is the citizen. Both lawful and unlawful residents whose parents are citizens are deported every day.

7. An illegal alien can join the armed forces and the military actually seeks them as recruits, which is a way for aliens to accelerate becoming a citizen.

False. The armed forces will accept only U.S. citizens or permanent residents into the armed forces. Permanent residence are subject to the draft. Permanent residents and illegal aliens are supposed to register for the draft. There is an exception to only citizens and  permanent residents being allowed to join the armed forces for aliens who are in the United States lawfully and are either medical doctors and some other medical professionals orfor aliens who speak some rarer languages in need by military intelligence.

8. The law allows foreign workers who obtain non-immigrant work visas to enter the United States to work for U.S. companies as long as they are paid the minimum wage of the state where they will work and the federal minimum wage, which is why many American workers lose their jobs.

False. Before a foreign worker can accept a job in the United States, his company must promise to pay the alien the prevailing wage for the job. A company that underpays an alien worker faces fines and other punishment and could also be prosecuted for a crime.

9. Aliens stopped at the border, like Americans, have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney before they are questioned.

False. Non-citizen and non-permanent residents at the border have the burden of proving lawful admission. Officers may detain and question aliens and there is no right to counsel. Miranda does not exist at the border. Aliens are often subjected to long detentions and interrogations.

10. Under the rules of a speedy trial, an alien arrested for immigration violations must see a judge within 72 hours, can usually pay a bond to be released from detention, and cannot be detained more than 180 days while seeking relief in immigration court unless the alien himself is responsible for the delay of his trial.

False. ICE has a policy of not releasing aliens it detains at the border who lack documents or are otherwise subject to removal except in the rarest of circumstances. On average an alien is detained six months before a hearing to decide if the alien can come into the United States. Aliens caught in the United States are subject to mandatory detention for most criminal offenses where there was a conviction after October 1998.  Aliens are supposed to get charging documents explaining why the government wants to deport them within a day of arrest, but seeing a judge can take longer than a month and final resolution of case more than six months at a minimum.  Nowadays aliens are often shuffled around the country before seeing a judge.

Let me know how you did and what you think of the answers.


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