3 Dirty Interview Tricks USCIS Is Using Right Now!

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3 Dirty Interview Tricks USCIS Is Using Right Now!

Today, I'm sharing the top three dirty tricks that USCIS tries to use on immigrants over the past few years. I have attended tons of interviews with my clients, and I have seen immigration officers use some very suspicious methods to try to get cases denied, even going so far as trying to change my client's answers. So if you're an immigrant preparing for an interview, I would keep each of these stories in mind as you prepare to go to your appointment with a plan in case the officer tries any of these tricks, or tries anything shady.

Otherwise, you might end up getting your case denied, even though you've done everything right. Also, stick around until the end, because I'll tell you how to find an immigration lawyer that will stick up for you in front of immigration officers that might have it out for you.

Trick 1

Dirty trick number one. I recently attended an immigration interview for an extreme cruelty and battery waiver for my clients.

In this case, the client had originally filed their I-751 with their spouse. However, during the course of my client's marriage, she suffered extreme cruelty and battery on a nearly daily basis, even suffering such things as sexual violence and financial abuse. So not only was it critical that I go to this interview with her, but it was also very critical for me to be sitting right there next to her in the room.

But when it was our turn for the interview. I was really surprised to see that the officer was instructing me to sit in the very back of the room away from my client. Now, the officer started arguing with me and told me that there was not enough space. And also, he even accused me of possibly telling my client the answer because I was sitting right next to her!

There is no way, first of all, that I would be colluding with my client to give them an answer. Moreover, I knew that this was a dirty trick because I have attended hundreds of immigration interviews with my clients. I know for a fact that at these immigration interviews, the attorney is allowed to sit right next to the client, and this is even written into the Field Manual for USCIS officers.

In the end, after a bit of a back and forth, an argument with this officer where I even asked to speak to the supervisor, I was allowed to sit next to my client and everything went well in this interview. In the next example, you'll even hear how the officer almost went so far as to take the law into their own hands.

But before we move on, I want to let you know that we are accepting new clients. My name is Moumita Rahman, and I have been practicing immigration law for the past 13 years. If you would like my help on your case, you can call us at 212-248-7907. I am based in New York, but I work with clients all over the United States.

Trick 2

The next dirty trick I want to share with you has to do with an asylum case. I went to Detroit, Michigan to represent my asylum client for whom I had won asylum in court in front of an immigration judge. So when I say that she got approved for asylum, that means that my client got approved for asylum after waiting multiple years for his case to be heard and after jumping through multiple legal hoops, including arguments from the Department of Homeland Security's attorney accusing him of having a material support bar to asylum.

However, when we showed up for this interview, the officer had already set up a camera and essentially cross-examined him like we were back in court based upon the material support. Now, this is a dirty trick that you have to watch out for when you are filing for asylum. Sometimes immigration officers will try to re-adjudicate certain claims to show that you're not eligible for asylum and sometimes to show that you're not eligible for the green card itself, even if you have already been approved for asylum.

You need to be aware of what is in your case. You need to remember and be aware of what was said in court, who were your witnesses, and what evidence you provided. Because they would have access to all of these pieces of information. Luckily, in this case, my client was able to answer all the questions well. And I also argued with the officer that she had no jurisdiction over this issue, which was already decided by the judge.

So just be aware that every single immigration application you file, every single thing that you say under oath can follow you for years to come, even when you think it's been settled.

Trick 3

This next example of a dirty trick by an immigration officer at the interview happened when my client was accused of a crime that was later dismissed and dropped.

Now, I already knew that this was going to be an issue in his case, even though the charges were dismissed, because I know how immigration officers think. Any time there is a criminal issue, even if the charges were dismissed, they want to know about the circumstances of the crime to see if they can get you to make an admission, because even if you do not have a conviction inside of a criminal court, if at your interview, you admit to performing all of the things that are required for a conviction, then you are essentially making an admission of guilt for the purposes of immigration.

Now, as I said, my client was prepared for these questions, and he handled himself beautifully because we had discussed that this would come up.

Bonus Trick

However, there is one thing that happened that I definitely want to assure you about, because this is the dirtiest thing that has ever happened to me at an interview. If you did not know this, the immigration officer must make you sign to any changes made on your application at the end of your interview.

Nowadays, the changes are reviewed on an iPad screen and so in this case, we knew that we had a couple of other changes and the officer instructed my client to just “go ahead and scroll through the changes and just sign at the bottom.” And I said, “Wait, I would like to review these changes.” And I saw that even though my client had answered no to certain questions, the officer tried to manually change my client's answer to a yes.

Had my client's answer of yes been entered in, then he would have been putting into his own immigration record that he had committed a very serious crime, and that would have disqualified him forever from a green card. When I saw what the officer was trying to do, I simply said, “Officer, I think you've made a mistake here.”

She looked down, became very embarrassed, and changed back to a “No”. Had my client not had an experienced attorney by his side, then who knows what would have happened! So what should you do to protect yourself from this sort of trickery? First, understand what your rights are before attending the interview. Immigration officers also have to follow the law, and they also have their own policies that they must follow.

If they start behaving inappropriately, it is well within your right to demand to speak to a supervisor. But this can be difficult to do as an immigrant, especially if you are an immigrant sitting by yourself in the interview. Most of these USCIS officers are not used to any sort of pushback, and most immigrants do not want to put their case in harm's way by making any form of protest.

So the best solution is to get a lawyer who is not afraid to talk back to the officer. Find an attorney and ask them how many interviews they've conducted, and whether anything negative or difficult has ever happened in an interview, and how they have handled such situations. Don't just assume that they will know how to handle difficult interview situations just because they've been to a few themselves.

Find out by asking whether your attorney is comfortable in pushing back on an officer. This is crucial and it is key to protecting your rights. If your interview is coming up, let me know below and leave a comment as to what you are looking forward to or what you are afraid of. If you want to get your immigration benefits, it is not simply enough to be on guard against USCIS.

You also need to avoid making the type of mistakes that can get your case denied. So watch my video where I detail the top five most common mistakes that immigrants can make in their applications that cause their cases to get denied and how you can avoid doing the same. I'll include a link to that video here. I'll see you there.

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