US citizenship application and political activism
March 6, 2017 4:25 PM   Subscribe

Considering current events and DHS positions; Will volunteering and participating on ACLU activities affect citizenship application of a green card holder?
posted by 3dd to Law & Government (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This is probably a good question for the Green Card holder to address to their immigration attorney. I would suspect the immigration attorney would respond with "why risk it?"
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 4:40 PM on March 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

I have been doing work in this area. Part 12, Question 9 of the N-400 form asks "Have you ever been a member of or associated with any organization, association, fund foundation, party, club, society, or similar group in the United States or in any other place?"

The green card holder will have to disclose this and be prepared to answer questions about this. In previous years, so long as you didn't put down any terrorist groups you were fine. I do not believe this will continue to be the case moving forward, and extended questioning about involvement with the group can be expected.
posted by Karaage at 4:51 PM on March 6, 2017 [10 favorites]

There really is no way of knowing, since the citizenship background checks are a pretty opaque process. In theory it shouldn't be a problem, and in theory the citizenship decision-making process is run by departmental staff who follow procedures that have been in place a long time and shouldn't exclude that. However, we live in topsy-turvy land right now, so personally I would not be willing to risk it.
posted by Joh at 4:59 PM on March 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

I am a Green Card holder. I am eligible for citizenship in three years. I will continue to speak out.

Sarah Jeong is a Harvard Law student who is a Green Card holder and has been writing prolifically about the implications of Trump's travel ban. She has done work for the EFF and writes for a number of publications, including her own edited newsletter summarizing critiques of the travel ban. She is also applying for citizenship.

Hina Shamsi is a Pakistani national with a Green Card who works for the ACLU. She has been harassed but not denied entry into the US. She was granted her citizenship after the travel ban was announced.

Talk to your lawyer. Do what you believe you should. I'm just offering these examples as a counter to everyone else telling you to be afraid. fwiw, I find Sarah Jeong's twitter to be a useful reference for other critiques of the administration, but I'm also now intrigued in seeing how her naturalization journey evolves.
posted by bl1nk at 7:01 PM on March 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

I am a green card holder, and outspoken about my views on the policies of the Trump administration. While I am not afraid to speak out, I do temper my language to sound as unemotional as possible to avoid ugly confrontations - and yes, I am unfortunately acquainted with more supporters of this administration than I care to admit.

My application for naturalization goes out in a couple weeks. My immigration lawyer has advised me to be cautious of my social media activity as it relates to political activism, not to declare affinity to any anti-Trump or anti-Trump-policy organizations, and to refrain from travel to countries that could be perceived as "threatening" to this administration, and consequently, immigration officials upon re-entry. I am traveling out of the country to Europe in the summer, and as a veteran detainee (even in the Obama administration), I anticipate a fair bit of harassment at my port of entry. My immigration lawyer hasn't advised me not to travel, but has urged that I equip myself with all the necessary letters and proof of a life in the U.S as I plan my trips.

We are all in this boat together. My heart tightens even as I write this, as I internalize so much anger on a daily basis over the issues immigrants face. If I didn't have a U.S-born fiance and son, there's an excellent chance I wouldn't be applying for citizenship to live in a country that doesn't exactly want me here, but... c'est la vie.
posted by Everydayville at 2:00 PM on March 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

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