State Department Whistleblower Reveals Shocking Policy of Depriving Individuals of Their Birthright to U.S. Citizenship
I have a client who is a U.S. citizen because she was born in Houston, Texas. Twice the U.S. goverment stripped her of right to U.S. citizenship. First, CBP officials deported her in 1998 after coercing a confession from her. Second, State Department officials at the U.S. embassy in El Salvador unlawfully confiscated her U.S. passport in 2005 without affording my client any due process whatsoever.
No true investigation ever took place into whether my client’s claim to U.S. citizenship was true. It was a witch hunt from day one. Unfortunately, my client is not alone, according to a State Department Attorney who spoke to me over the phone. I recorded the conversations because I strongly suspected that the State Department was committing grave human rights violations against my client. I was right.
I have transcribed excerpts from three separate conversations. They reveal a stunning absence of any form of procedural due process for individuals being wrongly deprived of their birthright to U.S. citizenship by the U.S. State Department.
I’ve only been with the department for 3 years. Your department had this case since 2007.
CI: We had a considerable backlog that resulted mostly from cases from mexico, and litigation that was filed against the department regarding how we were handling potentially fraudulent birth document cases was the phrase that we were using at the time. Now we just call them border birth cases because there is a significant amount of people that claim they were born on the texas side of the border and then they register their birth in mexico as well.
BSJ Yeah, but I saw those cases. Those cases if you look this case and those cases there is a big difference.
CI “Right but that was what resulted in the backlog and I don’t know how this case got caught up in this backlog given that it is not a Mexico case but it resulted in basically a hold on a large number of cases that involved potential dual birth registrations.”
BSJ “Right but she was never confronted.”
CI: That may be why your client’s got caught up because there simply the fact of two registrations. Um, obviously when we get a report from another federal agency regarding the interview with your client it presents that agency’s case and we obviously haven’t heard your client’s version…
“which is the point of the hearing because I think that is the big problem. If this went to a hearing there is no doubt in my mind that whoever is adjudicating officer would be completely convinced by the evidence that she is a U.S. citizen.
I mean, there is no other…you have to understand my position I am very hesitant to apply for another passport with her given the backlog, I mean the delay in the past and what is going on now. It seems like somebody I don’t know who it was, you probably do know who it was, uh, but somebody saw that this was going to come to a hearing and that they were going to lose at the hearing and they just decided to buck the…
CI: Actually my guess is that that’s probably not the case. There is a considerable effort to conserve resources…
CI: And the passport office does not like to do hearings because of the amount of resources it takes up to do a hearing so anytime they can try to come up with a rationale for not giving a hearing they will seize upon that.
BSJ: Wouldn’t a 1503 action take more resources from the department of state?
CI: Absolutely, Absolutely it does and then it is a matter of doing the math. How many people are actually going to take that step and do that.
BSJ: well it is expensive and that is my problem because these clients are completely indigent. Like I’ve taken on this case basically on a pro bono basis and a federal court action, you know I am a small law office. It is different from an administrative hearing. I got to make sure all my ducks in a row…very diligent work to do a thorough investigation and bring an action in federal court. They don’t have the resources to do it. I don’t have the resources to do it. So she is kind of left…If I don’t find someone else to take the 1503 action maybe I could take it eventually but it’s going to be…it’d be the least amount of resources to be spent would be if the DOS looked at the evidence… I don’t know if whom made the initial determination on the evidence. It doesn’t seem like you had the resources to do a thorough investigation. Let’s be honest, you didn’t really no one even told you the nature of the exclusion proceedings in 1998, so she is kind of left in this position where she is stateless. I just got her Salvadoran ID which says she is, um, a citizen of El Salvador by birth but that she was born in Harris County, Texas. All of her Salvadoran documents are going to say that. And the least resources would be to give her the benefit of the doubt and, I mean, find that she is, by a preponderance of the evidence, that she is a U.S. citizen because otherwise it’s going to to take up a lot of resources and potentially make the DOS look much worse in the end because, I mean, the evidence is pretty clear it’s just a matter of time.
CI: Well, I can tell you that if you were to do some research into the cases that have been litigated in the 5th circuit, specifically in the southern district of Texas and some in the eastern district of texas we lost a number of those cases. Nevertheless, the passport director recently came over from the DOJ and I can tell you that I have been told that he has said in meetings: “Fine, let them sue us.” Because his law enforcement background is that he knows that these people don’t have the resources to sue us and that if we simply force them to litigation that a significant number of them will choose not to pursue that.
BJ: Well do you think that’s really messed up?
CI: I do think that’s…that’s why I personally attempted to, when you got the letter from our office saying that you were entitled to a hearing that was because our office made the determination that that was the right thing to do. Passport legal Office is the one that has to offer the hearing and when I, strictly between you and me, I assumed that when I got authorization from my director that he had cleared it through passport legal knowing that they would eventually have to give you the hearing. They are the one that structurally does it. But apparently he did not run it by them.
BSJ: Oh ok. Em. What’s his name?
CI: My office director?
BSJ: No, No, I know __________________. The new guy from justice?
CI: Jonathan Rolbin. He has been with the department for about 3 years as well.
BSJ: Ok. Em SO this is like a purely, like, cold hearted bureaucratic policy, uh, to conserve resources?
CI: Um, that’s the argument that I have heard in the past. I have not heard any specific argument about this case because I have not been involved. But, um, given the budget issues that we’re facing every place that they can conserve resources they are attempting to do so.
BSJ: and if you told this to someone else you would get into big trouble, right?
CI: Umm, I would…Yeah, it’s very possible.
BSJ: What if it was the New York Times?
BSJ: I mean I guess that’s the best cover you can get. I have talked to a ny times reporter, um, __________, you can check his work out, um, he was very interested in the case, he was actually going to write on the case but the editors shot it down because and im guessing why DOS has this policy too because if there is any kind of gray area the pitch to the press, the press is much less of a concern. You saw what happened when this case first came out. There was an article on it. Then it came out that there was new evidence that I didn’t know about and that kind of just killed, killed the story because there is this shred of doubt and they need straight stories so, um, if he, he would take it and I think I know that there is a lot of risk for you, uh, it’s not like in your best interests and if he is doing this on a large scale, he’s really screwing people over and it’s…what they are doing with this hearing right now, their argument is ridiculous. I spoke to _____________ She didn’t want to talk about it but she was like “it’s because there is no valid passport because it was expired in 2009” it’s like because you never got to the determination before that. It’s like circular. You could just sit on a passport forever and never give them their right to a post cancellation hearing. So if you are interested I can give you his direct contact information, his cell phone.
CI: Um, I’ll take it down. I can’t guarantee I will do anything with it.
BJ: Let’s see here. (gives contact) they are probably recording us right now with all of this NSA stuff.
BJ: Nah, I doubt it.
BJ: It would really help my client a lot because she has, I mean, (sighs), she’s like very traumatized at what happened, she’s still traumatized. Em, She’s, I mean, because of this she came all the way from el Salvador and she entered, not illegally, but at the border and she was detained for like 15 days. And that was totally, I mean, if you believe the evidence that I have told you about, which apparently you weren’t given a lot of it, um, she’s a U.S. citizen and the U.S. government detained her illegally for how many days and put her in exile for years and it’s not just happening to her, it’s probably happening to a lot of people you are not even hearing about, the people that don’t have any resources are not doing anything about it. You know, they are either in limbo or in exile.
CI: Does Mr. ______, is he familiar with Ms. Alfaro’s case.
BSJ: Yes, he is, he knows the basic contours of the case.
BSJ: You know, I spoke to him yesterday about, um, the case and that, about the hearing, um, and how it was revoked and how I thought that was very suspicious and he said that he had tried to, because he was interested in the case and he had went to his editors and they declined because of the, uh, complexity of the background and the facts and I said, well you know something is really odd right now because there is an attorney at the DOS that, uh, seems like he was upset and that something else is going on and I said maybe he could be a whistleblower and he said ok if he is a whistleblower let him talk to me.
(2 second pause)
BSJ: I mean, I don’t want to force you but it is the right thing to do. It’s not necessarily in your best interests but, um, it would help out a lot of people.
CI: Well, I would need to see if I can find out what the justification is for denying the hearing to see if there is any…
BSJ: I mean I could tell you what is.
BSJ: It was never truly evaluated whether the sworn statement was credible. There was a presumption.
CI: Umm, my process here is to, we actually, between you and me, we have a huge internal discussion on what to do with sworn statements. I reviewed initially, upon starting here, a couple of cases where I was shocked by the sloppiness of the fraud prevention unit reports. Where they just contained numerous statements that were internally inconsistent. Where you have someone signing something where their name isn’t spelled, or where it had, in Mexico, a lot of people name their kids the same name and it then it is just junior or the mother’s maiden name is different and they would have the parent’s name or the parent’s DOB because they would be looking at the wrong document. The names are the same one on all the documents. Someone swore that they were their exact parent’s age. Obviously that can’t be true.
So we had a big internal discussion on what we do with that, do you basically say that the entire document is now worthless because of one basic fact? Or do you still look at the narrative in the sworn statement to see if the narrative is likely or unlikely.
BSJ: Yeah, I think the first one makes more sense because if it is tainted, it is tainted.
CI: Um, it basically boiled down to the discussion of what would happen if the document was introduced into evidence in court? Would the court throw it out entirely and therefore should we not rely on it ourselves so that we do not get stuck in a bunch of losing cases, um, or do we simply note the typo and then try to consider the rest of the document?
And the instruction was that we note the typo and continue to evaluate the rest of the document. Of course the more typos the more likely it is that the document is unreliable.
BJ: Yeah, but then its gets passed on and someone else reads it and it’s like telephone and by the time the final official makes the decision, it’s so far removed from the facts. I mean, these sworn statements, I can tell you, I deal with a lot of people that do these expedited at the border with CBP and half the time these things that they are saying to them are totally not true. These offials rush through these things and, for example, for credible fear interviews, for asylum, more than half of them are actually really scared of going back to their country, and the officials at the border never bother to ask them because they just don’t feel like it and then when you to someone else they will say that “well, that never happened, it’s a sworn statement.” The fact that it is a sworn statement is ridiculous because these statements are made under, usually detention, people are detained and they are made without the presence of any type of counsel, and it’s made in kind of a police interrogation and, uh, it is a police, it’s a like a law enforcement interrogation, so I mean add to that and to the fact that, um, there is inconsistencies, I think they are worthless.
CI: These are things you should point out that we discussed internally.(unclear) Is it an inherently coercive situation for someone to be at an embassy or a consulate in an interview room? Is it inherently coercive, is it more coercive to be interviewed by CBP after being sent to secondary inspection?
BSJ: Yeah, I think so.
CI: And those are factors that we do consider when they come to our office. Um, but at the same time it would be impossible for us to say that these situations are so inherently coercive that…
BSJ: I mean, it could be possible, but…I mean, like, in these type of circumstances we are talking, we are not talking about asylum fraud or a, um, somebody that is claiming some kind of immigration relief, we are talking about someone’s basic rights as a U.S. citizen and when you are kind of like making these, like, I mean there is no perfect way to do it when you are doing it administratively like you are, so um, if there is not enough procedural due process in place, there should be, um, internal policy should be to always make a decision that errs on the side of caution because if you are wrong, you are doing something, the result is a severe violation of someone’s human rights. If you are, I mean, The other situation is if you find they are a U.S. citizen and they are actually fraudulent, the worst thing that happens is that someone gamed the system. That’s I think the other way around, that the possibility that someone is being deprived of their rights as a U.S. citizen are much more, uh, serious than when somebody games the system, um, that happens a lot with immigration, this is talking about U.S. citizenship and it seems like a lot of the people that dictate policy at the DOS are not doing it that way, as you have told me, so um, that’s why this case, this case would not even have been complicated. If it weren’t for what happened in 1998, there would have been no issue. There would never have been a birth certificate from El Salvador and that’s it, end of the story, so I mean, obviously you seem concerned about it.
CI: Let me, off the record, give you a piece of information. Were we to sued in a 1503 and were we to have a plaintiff specifically allege that we applied the wrong, uh, burden of proof, you are familiar that in a 1503 once you present prima facie evidence of U.S. citizenship such as validly issued passport, even if that passport has been expired, that the burden shifts to the government to prove that you are not a U.S. citizen. There is significant case law in numerous circuits that say that because of the directive to treat a passport on equal footing as a certificate of naturalization that the same standard applies to cancelling a cert. and in deportation proceedings, which is clear, unequivocal, convincing should apply to the revocation of a passport.
BSJ: That’s true, right.
CI: When I started here 3 years ago we were writing internal memos that said that we either agree that the passport should be revoked because there is clear, unequivocal, convincing, or we disagree because there is not clear, unequivocal, convincing. Passport legal office believes that the standard, the preponderance standard simply switches to the government and that they can therefore essentially revoke someone’s citizenship on a preponderance more likely than not standard.
BSJ: I mean, that is the standard.
CI: There is no case law, there was not a single case that we were able to find. We did a circuit by circuit analysis to determine if there was a basis for this belief and we could not find a single case that had held that. Because there was not a single case that specifically said that when revoking a passport you must apply clear, unequivocal, convincing, they are more general, they just say passports should be treated, the burden shifts. Um, and we finally got some last year, some eastern district, I think Pennsylvania, where the district court applied it to revocation cases. There is no circuit court that says that. If you were to depose a government witness and ask what standard they applied in this case, um, they are not going to be able to tell you because we switched our language that simply says “sufficient evidence” we believe there is sufficient evidence or we believe there is not sufficient evidence. We no longer specify what standard we are applying because we do not know.
BSJ: Wait, I thought I looked at regulations and it says, I did not look at it deeply, deeply yet, the standard is not preponderance of evidence, according to regulations?
CI: The burden is always on the applicant to prove by a preponderance…
BSJ: Yeah, she already did that.
CI: Once we issued, we’ve documented you as a U.S. citizen.
BSJ: Right, she already established her burden.
BSJ: So and then the passport revocation, there is no clear, usually, the most common one is that it’s clear and convincing evidence, obviously that is in removal proceedings, clear and convincing evidence, and also in denaturalization, you said?
CI: Right, denaturalization, deportation.
BSJ: So, the Department, passport legal, which is run by that guy jonathan, they have been applying the preponderance, that’s what they are applying, but that is nowhere in their regs and they just think that once the passport is revoked that the applicant has, then the burden is on, I’m drawing blanks.
CI: Ok, so basically, for years, once a full validity 10 year passport was issued, our office was revoking if we found clear, unequivocal, convincing, and only if we found that high level of evidence.
BSJ: And while you were at this office as well?
CI: Uh, I’ve only been with this office. At the same time, I started in late 2009, when I got my first cases and I was being trained on how to do this and going over the regs and everything and viewing the case law there was an ongoing debate between our office and passport legal’s office. We have jurisdiction for passports initially issued overseas and they have jurisdiction for passports issued domestically. We were applying clear, unequivocal, convincing, they were applying, uh, preponderance for revocation. So they were saying that once an applicant is issued because they have shown by a preponderance the burden shifts to government but it is the same level, the same preponderance. We then just have to show by a preponderance that they are not citizens.
BJ: That is what office of passport legal is saying. Why are they saying that?
CI: Because it’s administratively convenient. It’s easier to take away a passport from someone.
BSJ: So you guys are being forced to do that too now?
CI: So we referred the matter to the legal adviser’s office and we have been waiting on an opinion from them for 2 and a half years.
BSJ: And in this case it was preponderance, correct?
CI: Well, on this case, we switched a year and a half ago to not specifically saying what standard we are applying. I am looking at my memo, my internal memo and it says the question in this case is whether there is sufficient evidence.
BSJ: SO it was a preponderance…
CI: It is intentionally disguised to make it unclear what standard we’re applying.
BSJ: So you are being forced to apply this vague standard by, who, dictates this policy to office of passport legal overseas. Is there one agency that oversees them both?
CI: No, we have jurisdiction for passports issued overseas and passport legal has jurisdiction.
BSJ: So this vague standard, the sufficient evidence standard, you do not want to apply it so why do you have to apply it?
CI: So, there director Jonathan met with my director Ed and they said we need to get on same page on this or at least not blatantly put it in writing that we are applying different standards, so I was instructed, we were all instructed to take out the clear, convincing language from our memos so we were not instructed specifically to apply a different standard, we were specifically instructed to use the language sufficient or insufficient, which is obviously a huge problem.
BSJ: What percentage of attorneys in your department that are against this?
CI: Um, I don’t know, I think all of these attorneys were against it.
BSJ: But you guys don’t do anything?
CI: We all believe that the standard is clear, unequivocal, convincing.
BSJ: What would happen if you applied clear, convincing, would you get blowback, could you get reprimanded?
CI: They don’t ask us what standard we are applying.
BSJ: What happens if you just started applying that?
CI: I look at every single case and if I don’t believe there is clear evidence I would recommend revocation. But that’s based on the record we have in front of us.
BSJ: Right, that’s another issue, I mean, that’s the problem, that’s another issue.
CI: Right, but here is the thing, even though the passport falls under our jurisdiction, only passport legal’s office has the authority to actually revoke the passport.
BSJ: So who revoked this passport, that wasn’t you?
CI: It was passport. Passport legal always does the function of issuing the cable and going into the system and revoking the passport. We don’t do that.
BSJ: This was revoked in 2012. Well, it was not revoked until 2013, right?
CI: Um, well we sent our memo down to, our internal memo was finished in 2012 in March. This specific memo for your case. We do a memo for each case.
BSJ: So it was revoked in 2012, ok. How come she wasn’t given written notice then?
CI: it looks like because it had already expired. It expired june 22, 2009.
BSJ: Oh, that’s why. And what happened in 2013 was because of the congressional inquiry?
CI: No, so that’s a whole separate issue. The issue is the regulations say you get a hearing if it’s denied or revoked. In this case it technically expired before we got to it.
BSJ: yeah, which is kind of.
CI: then the question became what does passport do in that case? And they do not send out a revocation queue because they say there is not action for their office to take. The passport is no longer usable. Unfortunately it still can be accepted as proof of identity and therefore a passport revoked primarily intended as a travel document by the courts has been found to be prima facie evidence and in some case’s based on the statute 2205, uh, as conclusory proof of citizenship but also it is an ID document.
CI: So if we do not give, so myself and a couple of other attorneys said we should be sending notice to people even if there is no official revocation to let them know that in the eyes of the U.S. government they are no longer viewed as U.S. citizens.
BSJ: Yeah, which is what happened when you sent that letter in 2013.
CI: Your client is only second person I believe to get such a letter. Uh, our office director thought this over and apparently discussed it with other folks for months and then finally authorized us to send the letter.
BSJ: Ah, I understand.
CI: where we offered you the hearing. And then when we sent a courtesy copy downstairs to the passport legal office that’s when apparently I discovered that he had not consulted with them. They were very upset by this and they said why are you affording them a right to a hearing, we don’t believe they have one. We don’t want to offer them one and furthermore they have asked us to stop sending out these letters and our director has agreed to stop doing it, so there will be no more letters.
BSJ: So they can confiscate a passport without ever formally.
CI: If it is expired…
BSJ: But doesn’t that give the DOS an incentive to just never inform them, just confiscate it and wait till it expires.
CI: Well, I can tell you that is not our incentive here.
BSJ: Not your incentive but for others, I mean, that’s what happened because of the backlogs and stuff.
CI: We are actually getting a lot of front office pressure to clear up the backlog. We’ve promised them to do it by the ned of the year so I can tellyou these are a huge priority for us, um, passport actually prefers that we get to them before they expire so that if we do believe they should, that they are invalid, obtained via error or fraud, that they can actually can get in and do a revocation before it expires to the point that where we get requests that that passport is going to expire in a couple of weeks we do it immediately so that they can actually go in and revoke so that we are on the record and there is no confusion about whether they can get another one.
BSJ: You said it is more administratively convenient to apply the preponderance of evidence, why is that? Does it require more work if you apply clear and convincing?
CI: because if there is any doubt as to whether or not someone is a citizen, the view of downstairs, of passport legal, is that they should not be getting the benefits of U.S. citizenship.
BSJ: If there is any doubt? Or…so it is kind of an overzealous enforcement perspective…
CI: actually, Jonathan Rolbin came to us from the DOJ.
BSJ: That’s not administrative convenience.
CI: Well, it’s a policy preference, frankly, and it is administratively convenient for them to say we are defending the department’s interests and the department has more leeway if we can say we have the right to revoke on this lower threshold. So it’s a matter of defending the department’s interests in their view.
BSJ: Yeah, I mean, but that’s separate from the fact that if he thinks that there is any doubt to someone’s u.s. citizenship they shouldn’t be benefiting from it.
CI: Yeah, I don’t want to overstate. His view is that if we believe by the preponderance of evidence is that that, 50+1 likelihood that they are not a u.s. citizen even if we previously issued, we should revoke. But then again, let’s be honest, preponderance is a much murkier standard.
BSJ: Yeah, how do you calculate that? I can say that it is more likely than not that I went go get pizza…
CI: Which is why we believe that the higher standard makes more sense.
BSJ: Right and that is the right thing to do.
CI: And frankly we think it will save us from a lot of litigation and therefore it is in our best interests. We have made that argument ad nauseum.
So who is above Rolbin? Who is overseeing this guy? I mean, he has to answer to someone, he has to speak to someone about this.
CI: Well I believe his boss is Brenda Spragg. But we’ve referred the matter to the legal adviser’s office.
Which is in State dept?
CI: Right, so overseas citizen’s services has a law office, which is us, and then passport has a law office just like visa has a law office embedded in their offices. So we are part of consular affairs bureau. There is a completely separate bureau, the legal adviser’s office, and they are the ones that implement department wide policy. So when there is an issue that affects not just OCS or passport, but the entire department, like the burden of proof issue, it gets referred to the legal adviser’s office and they are the arbiter, they have the final say and they send it up their chain of command and like I said we referred the issue to them 2 and a half years ago or so and we are still waiting back.
BSJ: Have you heard of the lawsuit from ___________
(skip of a couple of minutes)
BJ: I don’t think they know about the revocation standard.
CI: I’ve not seen a single complaint that made the allegation that we were applying the wrong standard.
BSJ: That’s because no one knows about it.
CI: The legal adviser’s office is not in a rush to do anything apparently.
BJ: That would make sense that people are like saying they are just, I mean a lot of these opinions there is no analysis that goes into it and if it is a simple preponderance of evidence standard you can kind of get away with it because you don’t have to, you can just say there are two things vs. one thing, so that’s 2 to 1 and more than a preponderance, um, as opposed to clear and convincing. But I think there are allegations that even the preponderance of evidence standard is being arbitrarily applied. But if they knew that, so if I were to do a 1503 action, uh, I could depose, um, you’ve seen people being deposed before? Or supervisors?
CI: Um, I don’t believe my office director has been deposed.
BSJ: that is very interesting policy. I am surprised that it is on such a lockdown. How no one has even got a whiff of this. Um, but I guess it is kind of new, too, since it is the rolbin guy that is really pushing, he is the one that is pushing this policy?
BSJ: I really appreciate all of this information. It will help me a lot when I move forward with whatever I am going to do next. But, um…
BSJ: how many hearings have you seen?
CI: Uh, we get a request from passport may 2 or 3 a year for one of our attorneys to be a hearing officer and these are usually domestic cases that they have decided they do not want an attorney in their office.
BJ: SO they only have 2 to 3 hearings a year?
CI: that they ask us for assistance with…
BJ: what’s your volume?
CI: We don’t do any hearings. (offered through passport) I don’t know what their volume is. I don’t think it is very high. At most double digits.
BJ: out of how many revocations?
BJ: well, that makes..
CI: I would be surprised if it was more than one a month.
BJ: Yeah, makes sense. I think the _______the experienced attorney on these cases, when I told him we were going to get a hearing, he told me you can’t get a hearing they will tell you you can’t do it because one of the exceptions is non-nationality and that’s what I told to you and I guess that has been one of the reasons they’ve denied them in the past.
CI: It is, it is one of the things that our office has been going back and forth with with passport office, it’s another issue that we have referred to the legal adviser’s office over two years ago and they are supposed to be giving us a decision on.
CI: Wow, and the new case, um, and they are holding it over I guess.
BSJ: There is not much point to the hearings if you can just say any reason that you are revocating there is no hearing. If you go by logic that non-nationality is applied literally, no one would get a hearing if their passport is revoked.
CI; right, all of our revocations are based always on non-citizenship. Everything else falls under the passport jurisdiction, if it is a warrant, or non-payment of child support for example. We might facilitate communications between post and passport, but they make those revocations, and those are very straightforward and are a completely different animal,
CI: So because there is no current department wide policy on the noncitizenship aspect of whether or not there is a hearing, passport is getting their way essentially because they are the ones that do them.
BJ: Hopefully you get a response from legal soon so your life is not…
CI: Well, they’ve been telling us it is imminent for the last 7 or 8 months.
BJ: Yeah, I guess that’s part of working in the government, there is not that much accountability for these types of things.
“Have you thought about speaking with Mr. _____?” I have thought about it, I have not reached a conclusion on the issue. Um, to be honest with you, this is not the most egregious case. I actually last year filed with our office of inspector general a complaint against my management for violating 3 other peoples’ civil rights equal protection, due process because they simply took the passport away without following any of our safeguards.”
What happened with those cases? Issue was that these folks who had passports then applied to bring over their relatives on i130s. uscis found them ineligible. their basis was they uncovered a mexican birth certificate and then therefore because of this dual registration these persons were not U.S. citizens and that they had fraudulently obtained texas certificate. USCIS requested revocation of passport. The mere fact that they could not prove to USCIS satisfaction is to deny benefit and request State Dept. to deny revocation. State Department would have to independently find that this person is not a U.S. citizen. What this office chose to do was to take a shortcut and say oh if uscis believes they are not u.s. citizens we also will just take their passports away. The regulations do not permit us to do that. the regulations only permit revoke a passport if another agency has informed us that a citizenship certificate has been revoked, which did not happen in this case, or if the department finds that the person is not a U.S. citizen.
“If I were to give someone a call, I would talk about those cases., and the fact that the OIG for the last 1.5 years has done absolutely nothing with the complaint.”