Advice to Marriage-Related Immigration Fraudsters: Do Not Try for Citizenship

By David North on August 9, 2022

Think about this immigration situation in baseball terms. Suppose there was a backup catcher belonging to the same team as the regular catcher, but located 15 feet behind the plate. He could catch some of the passed balls that sometimes elude the regular catcher, and thus advance the cause of their team.

In this real-life scenario, involving an alien from Benin who had a marriage of convenience with a U.S. citizen, the regular catcher (the people handling green cards due to marriage) dropped the ball and let the man from Benin get a green card via marriage, but the backup catcher (i.e., the naturalization people) caught the ball a little later by denying the alien citizenship papers, on the grounds of a fraudulent marriage.

The alien then appealed to the umpire (the federal courts) and they, in turn, supported the naturalization people, all this as reported (without the extended metaphor) by Law360.

We rarely see reports along these lines, but we did see one regarding how the naturalization examiners had detected a fraudulent marriage last year, setting in motion a deportation order.

The most recent case involved Hafils Y. Akpovi, a male from Benin and the Eighth Circuit; the earlier case went against Maryam Movsum Hasanova, a female American soldier from Azerbaijanthere cannot be very many in that categoryher case was in the Eastern District of North Carolina.

The moral of these stories, or maybe the immoral of them, is that aliens who have obtained green cards through fraudulent marriages and seek citizenship may run into a more discerning review process with the naturalization staff than they did with the green card adjudicators.