Thursday, February 11, 2010

Citizenship revoked after 29 years as an American

We are often quick to point out the holes in keeping out illegal immigrants in the current system. But the fact is that the U.S. Immigration system is just as broken in dealing fairly with LEGAL immigrants. Consider the case of Angela Boneva, who was granted citizenship in 1981 only to be told now that she "was never a citizen". And all of her attempts to get clarification have come to naught as she faces an implacable, uncaring bureaucracy.

After she sought to renew her U.S. passport in 2003, the State Department informed her that a consular employee's decision to give her citizenship in 1981 broke a rule dictating that her father had to have lived in the U.S. for 10 years before she was born. His time in the U.S. before moving to Bulgaria totaled only six years.

But the letter pointed out, that same residency requirement was reduced in 1986 to five years, so someone in her position would be eligible for citizenship today — though not her.

Boneva received a form letter in 2003 saying "it does not appear" that she qualifies as a citizen anymore. She has made repeated but vain attempts to get a definitive answer from U.S. authorities. But just last month, she was sent the very same form letter again — this time with another woman's photograph stapled above her name. That letter recommended Boneva contact another U.S. agency, which had already turned her away.
Immigration turned out to be a "third rail" issue for President George W. Bush. But we need to bite the bullet and come to grips with a system that is short on justice and long on outrage


Anonymous said...
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BH said...

and these are the people some are willing to hand our health care.