Friday, February 26, 2010

Being Honest with the Government

If my eight years working for the United States Government taught me anything, it is not to try to lie to Federal employees.

Federal employees, particularly those who work directly on specific cases, tend to be overworked. Due to budget constraints, they are also given few resources to do their jobs. That means that case workers sometimes have tough choices about which cases will get the bulk of their attention. Lying to a Federal case worker will not endear you to them. Being human, they will likely become annoyed. This can very well work to the detriment of how much attention your case gets.

Lying also affects your credibility. A Federal case worker is less likely to find in your favor after you have lied. And why should they? If a Federal case worker has caught you in one lie, they may assume that you lied in other aspects of your case as well.

Lying to a Federal employee about something important and relevant to their job is also a crime. It can result in fines and jail time. Sometimes, when a Federal employee has discovered you lied to them, it can motivate them to bring the full force of the Department of Justice on you.

Finally, particularly in the immigration context, it is extremely difficult to get away with a lie. Often, immigration benefits depend on a background check. That means the FBI, who are extremely good at what they do, will be investigating your background. The FBI is thorough and professional. You should not expect to keep something having an important bearing on your case from the FBI.

If you have an issue that may affect your eligibility, the best course is to seek out a lawyer, be truthful in explaining to your lawyer your situation, and letting your lawyer give you the best advice for your situation. While you may not like it, that advice could be not to seek the immigration benefit.

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