BIA Affirms Effect of Entry with False Claim of Citizenship
By Charles Wheeler
The BIA held that a woman who procured a U.S. passport by fraud and used it to gain entry to the United States was not considered “inspected and admitted,” and therefore is subject to the grounds of inadmissibility when placed in removal proceedings. The Board had held more than 30 years ago that where an alien gained admission to the United States through a false claim of citizenship, it was considered entry without inspection. Matter of Arequillin, 17 I&N Dec. 308 (BIA 1980). The basis of that ruling came from a Supreme Court decision that found that U.S. citizens are not subject to the same level of scrutiny by border inspectors as non-citizens. Reid v. INS, 420 U.S. 619 (1975). The Court treated a person who enters through a false claim of citizenship as “comparable to that of a person who slips over the border and who has, therefore, clearly not been inspected.” In this case the BIA found the woman to have entered without inspection, to have been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude (procuring a passport by fraud), and in its discretion to not merit a grant of voluntary departure. Matter of Pinzon, 26 I&N Dec. 189 (BIA 2013).