« Ugh, says the Turk in me | Main | Quote of the Day »

November 20, 2004


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Dearest Claudia:

Please be careful here...I'm almost about to give you legal advice in an area of law that, while I have done some of it, I am certainly no expert.

But think about what you are saying. Think about it in relation to Germany and then again in relation to the United States.

Then go out and get some really good legal advice from someone in the know.

Still, here is my analysis of your situation:

You are a German Citizen

But you are NOT a German Citizen wanting to also acquire US citizenship. This is the fundamental problem, the flaw in your thinking from my perspective.

What you want from CIS, (and yes I hate them too for equally good reason), is permanent US residency, which should be easy enough through an I-130 spousal petition. This will allow you and the children to acquire a US social security number and a permanent Green Card to live in the United States unhindered, (though it would be best if you did not commit any felonies while in the United States...lol).

In my analysis of your situation, you ignore US citizenship for 10 or 20 or thirty years if you want, and never put your German Citizenship at risk...because you are not seeking US citizenship when it becomes available to you after 5 years.

Of course, the fundamental flaw in my analysis is the presumption that Germany has no problem with you holding a Permanent Resident Green Card for the United States.

This may or may not be true. Though I do not see why it would not be.

As I think about this even further...this really is maybe a matter between you and Doug.

I mean no offense by this post and of course wish both of you the best in all things. I respect both of you tremendously and was just trying to be helpful.

Good Luck and Best Wishes,



Traveller - appreciate the info but I guess I should have given you the entire story first, eh?

I have a green card, I have a driver's license issued in VA, I have an SSN (since 1988, when I worked at Walt Disney World, of all places). My conditional green card has just been turned into an unconditional one, for which I'm grateful and all that.

But CIS can still deport any time they like, no matter how long I may have lived there, and if I'm 67 years old, and they don't have to give any reasons, and I cannot sue them for it.

They can still harrass me any amount at every border entry and I have no legal means to stop them from doing it.

I cannot vote. (Giving a country two sons should give you the right to determine a minimal amount of their future, in my eyes.)

I can only reside outside the US as long as Doug works for a US government agency (which gives us residency status in a legally twisted way). In any other case, my staying outside the US becomes an issue and may lead to my loosing the green card. It is, after all, only a permanent residency card -- as long as you actually reside, it's OK.

I know I'm demanding. I want the right to live in two countries, as a full citizen. That's quite preposterous.

But the option exists and I would like to use it, if I can. However, I would not dream of giving up my German (EU) citizenship. If the German government decides they can easily let me go (and it's not as if I'm such a valuable citizen, so that might very well happen), then I'll just live with the green card and try not to be deported at 67.

BTW, my kids are US citizens by birth, as well as German citizens. They have SSNs and birth certificates and passports galore. It's just me we're talking about.

Bernard Guerrero

Did you check out "The Head Heeb" post on supra- and sub-national structures and multiple citizenships? Not that it's going to clear up your legal issue, but it certainly touches on some of what you're talking about. "Montevideo minus one"


Hello Claudia:

I have been reading your blog for awhile now and I really enjoy it. Your views about the U.S. election mirror mine, but are much more eloquent. I am an immigration attorney in the U.S., so I'm particularly interested in today's post. I don't presume to give you individual immigration advice "long distance," but I have a couple comments.

You are mostly right in your analysis of your situation, but I have to say that CIS cannot "still deport any time they like, no matter how long I may have lived there, and if I'm 67 years old, and they don't have to give any reasons, and I cannot sue them for it." They DO have to give you reasons, they DO have to give you due process (a hearing in front of an immigration judge) and, while you may not be able to sue them, you CAN appeal an adverse ruling through the U.S. federal court system.

What's bad is: 1) you don't have as many rights if they try to take away your green card while you are living outside the U.S., and 2) Congress can make new rules at any time to decide what are good reasons for taking away someone's green card. I agree with Traveller that you should seek legal advice as you try to get U.S. and German citizenship. Good luck!


I kind of figured that the children were out of the scope of the question just as I hit the send button. Still, thanks for the refinement of the facts and an update on what is going on.

CIS is just ridiculous, there's nothing else I can say...and yet it is there. I would not concern myself too much with any future question of your possible deportation.

If the United States were to become so bad that they would deport you...would you even want to remain? Interestingly, is this a particularly and peculiarly German fear, this idea of deportation?

On the other hand, the idea that you could be deported and be away from your children or husband at any age...is a fear that, not being a mother, I might have trouble understanding. I can’t see it happening, but you are correct in wondering, “Who knows?”

I would hate to see you lose your German citizenship, and Diane’s advice was spot on...you do have rights, and Doug is up there with the smartest men I’ve read and he’d protect you...so I think you’re cool with just a Green Card.

And yet, and yet, I do understand that you want what you want.

Sigh...Life ain’t easy sometimes.

Best Wishes,



I don't know how any nation can do this sort of thing without disproportionately empowering (giving more votes to) those already powerful (rich enough to travel and/or maintain several residences.)

Do you want Rupert Murdoch voting in both the US and in Australia? Do you want George Soros voting in his birth nation of Hungary and his alma mater of England AND his chosen venue of the moment, the United States? I don't.

This principal I would apply intra-nationally, too. It's bad enough a wealthy candidate (Dick Cheney, for example) can simply change his voter's registration from one home address in Texas to another in Montana at the drop of a hat -- simply to avoid pesky little constitutional issues about the Prez and Veep coming from the same state. It would be worse if Cheney were legally permited to vote in Montana AND Texas -- or if John Kerry were permitted to vote five times, once per residence.

This really does seem to me like a situation calling for some sort of second-class citizenship: one which affords all the protections of citizenship but denies certain prerogatives. Where in the briars and thickets of the law such sanctuary is found -- I leave to the lawyers in your family.

I will admit that for my own family we have taken extra steps to ensure that MicroP is COMPLETELY severed from his South Korean citizenship; South Korean still being one of those nations that conscripts young men into military service. I'd let him choose service -- I won't allow him to be drafted unwilling.

Ah well. Good luck sorting it all out.


Vielleicht findest du hier Hilfe:

The comments to this entry are closed.