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Probing Questions

On October 5, M. had her interview with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for her naturalization. Part of the interview was to answer all questions she had filled out on the lengthy application form one more time, under oath, in front of an immigration officer. The Kansas City immigration office is one that has separate dates for the interview and the oath ceremony. We now received the notification that the oath ceremony will take place on November 17. On the back of the notification, a number of questions, already answered in the original application, are repeated, just in case the applicant has decided to join the Communist Party in the meantime. These questions need to be answered in writing and signed. The one that I found most interesting:

Have you practiced polygamy, received income from illegal gambling, been a prostitute, procured anyone for prostitution or been involved in any other unlawful commercialized vice, encouraged or helped any alien to enter the United States illegally, illicitly trafficked in drugs or marijuana, given any false testimony to obtain immigration benefits, or been a habitual drunkard?

How long does it take to become a habitual drunkard, I wonder? More or less than 6 weeks and 1 day? Better not sign that paper now, because who knows what can happen between today and November 17. Perhaps there will be a chance for polygamy.

Upon further research, I found the following instructions concerning “habitual drunkard” in the Adjudicator’s Field Manual of the USCIS:

(B) Been a Habitual Drunkard? 8 CFR 316.10(b)(2)(xii) and Interpretations 316.1(e) deal with the issue of good moral character where the applicant is an habitual drunkard. Chapter 73.6 of this manual also contains more information on this aspect of eligibility.

First, be sure to ask the question, and any follow-up questions needed to ensure that you have the applicant’s full response. Examine any divorce decrees, as well as other documents submitted for information that would lead you to believe that the applicant was a habitual drunkard. Some divorce decrees will state that the cause of the divorce was the applicant’s alcoholism. You might also consider any termination from employment or unexplained periods of unemployment as a possible indication that the applicant was unable to work because he or she was an habitual drunkard. The rap sheet may show arrests or convictions for public intoxication, or the motor vehicle bureau may report arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol/intoxication. Depending on the State in which the applicant resides, you may have to request this directly from the motor vehicle bureau.

You should be careful in asking the follow-up questions regarding this issue, as it may be an area in which the applicant is extremely sensitive. Please remember that if the applicant fails to reveal this information when you first ask the questions, this is not in and of itself false testimony. [See discussion of false testimony in Chapter 73.6 of this manual.]

Interesting stuff.


2 Responses to “Probing Questions”

  1. M says:

    My relative is becoming a citizen tomorrow in KC as well. Congrats! See you there.

  2. Well, good luck for later and if you do go out for a drink afterwards. Don’t make a habit of it.

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