Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 18.22 3. Fraud and Related Grounds

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There are four main grounds of inadmissibility related to immigration fraud: misrepresentation to an immigration officer;[184] falsified or forged immigration documents;[185] false claims to citizenship;[186] and unlawful voting.[187]  Each of these grounds is outlined (including related waivers and exceptions) in Appendix E, infra.  Commission or conviction of a fraud offense related to immigration may also constitute a crime of moral turpitude,[188] an aggravated felony,[189] and trigger other immigration fraud related grounds of deportability.[190]  Counsel should argue that immigration fraud cannot be committed by a minor, or that fraud committed by a parent or other relevant adult cannot be imputed upon the child.  See § 12.35, supra.[191]


[184] INA § 212(a)(6)(C)(i), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(C)(i).

[185] INA § 212(a)(6)(F), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(F).

[186] INA § 212(a)(6)(C)(ii)(I), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(C)(ii)(I). This act must have occurred on or after September 30, 1996, the effective date of IIRAIRA, which added this ground to the law. IIRAIRA § 344(a).

[187] INA § 212(a)(10)(D)(i), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(10)(D)(i).

[188] See, e.g., Matter of Correa-Garces, 20 I. & N. Dec. 451 (BIA 1992) (conviction for making false statements on an application for a U.S. passport in another person’s name, along with willfully, knowingly, and with intent to deceive, falsely representing a social security number as having been issued to a noncitizen held crimes of moral turpitude); White v. INS, 6 F.3d 1312 (8th Cir. 1993), cert. den., 511 U.S. 1141 (1994) (conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 911 (1988) for “falsely and willfully represent[ing] himself to be a citizen of the United States” held crime of moral turpitude); Bisaillon v. Hogan, 257 F.2d 435 (9th Cir. 1958), cert. den., 358 U.S. 872 (1958) (passport fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1542, willfully and knowingly making a false statement in a passport application with intent to secure the illegal issuance of a passport, involved moral turpitude).  But see, e.g., Beltran-Tirado v. INS, 213 F.3d 1179 (9th Cir. 2000) (using false Social Security number under what is now 42 U.S.C. § 408(a)(7)(B) (1988) not crime of “moral turpitude,” since Congress added a new 42 U.S.C. § 408(d), which provided that noncitizens who had been granted permanent resident status under the amnesty or registry statutes were exempted from prosecution for certain past use of false Social Security numbers, including this one); Hirsch v. INS, 308 F.2d 562 (9th Cir. 1962) (false, but not fraudulent statement to a government official under precursor to 18 U.S.C. § 1001 is not necessarily a CMT).  See Chapter 20, infra.

[189] See, e.g., Pena-Rosario v. Reno, 83 F.Supp.2d 349, 366 n.12 (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 8, 2000) (federal conviction for falsely making “document prescribed by statute or regulation as evidence of authorized stay or employment in the United States,” in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1546(a), constituted an “aggravated felony” within meaning of INA § 101(a)(43)(P), 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(P), for purposes of deportation).  See § 19.54, infra.

[190] See § 18.22, supra.

[191] See, e.g., Singh v. Gonzales, 451 F.3d 400 (6th Cir. 2006) (any fraud committed by a third party could not be imputed to a minor).