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Neb. man appeals citizenship denial; questions reasoning

Posted at 4:49 PM, Aug 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-29 18:13:13-04

The Federal Government has denied a Nebraska man's attempt to become a naturalized American citizen, for what he believes are questionable reasons.

In the notice of decision sent by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in July, they determined the man is not eligible for naturalization.  USCIS said he didn't have good moral character because of an alleged affair and for being a habitual drunkard.

The man, who didn't want to be named, is from Peru and has lived in Nebraska for 15 years.  He has not been convicted of a felony.

His attorney says he's never been arrested for any alcohol-related violations and did not have an affair, but did meet a woman while going through his divorce.

"(He) pays taxes, he doesn't break the law, he followed the rules, he filed the right application, :41 he paid the fees, he had the interview, he doesn't owe child support, he doesn't owe taxes.  He's done everything the way he was supposed to have done it and the reason for denying this is sad and completely laughable," said Attorney Tom Campbell.

"Habitual Drunkard" and "Extramarital Affair destroying a Marriage" are both listed in the immigration statutes as reasons for denial.

Campbell and his client have filed an appeal of the decision.

"I hope they reconsider the decision," the man explained.  "I have no problem with police, no problem when I was married, no problem with cheating."

Immigration couldn't speak specifically about this case.

"USCIS is committed to adjudicating all petitions, applications and requests fairly, efficiently, and effectively on a case-by-case basis to determine if they meet all standards required under applicable law, policies, and regulations," said Spokesperson Sharon Rummery.

KMTV spoke with others who help immigrants through the naturalization process.  They say that denials for habitual drunkard and extramarital affair are rare, but the decisions are subjective when it comes to good moral character.