Immigration News Updates on Aliases: What Does the USCIS Need to Know?


Does the USCIS Need to Know Your Aliases?

Immigration Application on Aliases

You may have heard about a German concentration camp soldier who was recently deported back to Germany.

If you read any news stories about this, the man was quite elderly. He is over 90 years old. He gave some interviews and expressed anger that he was being deported after such a long time, considering how old he was. He felt like since it’s been so long, it shouldn’t matter what he did in World War 2.

I brought this up because it is important for people to know that for ICE and USCIS, it does not matter how long ago something was, even if you are now a citizen. If you lied on your application or have done something in the past that can disqualify you, and they have discovered it now – like being a Nazi during World War 2 – then you can be deported.

Recently we had a question on our YouTube channel that made us think this was important to share. 

We had someone who wanted to know when they file for their adjustment of status through a U visa, if they had to disclose that they used a different name in the past. They didn’t include the information on their original U visa application so they were wondering if they should now? They had wanted to avoid a $60 fine so they used a fake name to get a driver’s license.  

Immigration Benefit Application

If you have applied for an immigration benefit, you will see that most forms ask you to provide any names that you have been known by. This includes immigrant aliases.  

This means that if you were married and had a different name, or if you had an ID with a different name, you need to put this on your application. If you had a nickname, like your name is James but your family called you Jimmy, you don’t necessarily have to put that in. What is important to put in is something that would be found in any official search OR if others knew you by another name.  

If you were ever stopped by the police or you were arrested and provided a different name, the name or alias you used should be in there.  

Consequences of Excluding Your Alias in Your Application

You may be wondering why you should provide that information – isn’t it going to make you look bad and get you a denial?

If you aren’t honest, and it is discovered later, you may lose your immigration benefit and even be deported. You may also lose your immigration status, and for some, there are also civil penalties such as fines that you could be subject to.  

If you have used an alias before, it is probably best to:

  1. Talk to a New Jersey immigration attorney to determine how to proceed with your application.
  2. Make sure you include all the information that is being asked, and if you forgot or didn’t include them on past applications, explain why.  

Changes in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 

As we’ve mentioned before, ICE is changing their focus. In the last administration, it focused on getting people out of the United States. While that still remains important for those who have committed crimes, ICE has issued interim guidelines stating that they are refocusing on keeping borders safe.  

As you know, there is a new head of DHS, Alejandro Mayorkas, and we expect him to release new guidelines soon. When he does, it will be interesting to see how things will change.

One disturbing story we saw recently was that ICE is buying cell phone information like marketers do, to supposedly track people crossing the border. 

In 2018, a Supreme Court decision said that location data was protected and could only be obtained with a search warrant. How does DHS get around this?

They aren’t buying individual phone information; they are buying location data that marketers get. If we find out more about this, we’ll let you know, but do keep in mind when you download that “free” app, you’re providing information to the government about where you are and what you are doing.

Contact a New Jersey Immigration Attorney Today!

If you are planning to apply for a green card to become a permanent resident or if you are at risk of being deported, an immigration attorney can help. 

At Andres Mejer Law, we have New Jersey immigration attorneys with extensive experience in handling different immigration problems to help immigrants obtain legal status in the United States. Contact us today for an initial consultation.

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