Most people assume that they know their legal citizenship status. However, for some people, their legal status is not that apparent. Children who immigrated to the United States when they were young may simply believe that they are citizens, when according to the law, they are not. This can be problematic, especially as children become adults and want to attend college or begin working. It is important to know that falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen could cause serious legal problems, including the possibility of deportation. It is helpful to understand why you must know your legal status.

Immigrant Children

There are a large number of illegal immigrants in the United States and some do not know they  have no legal status. Children who are born here are U.S. citizens, even if their parents are not.  A problem can arise when a child was brought to the U.S. at an early age, but was never told that he or she is an immigrant. It is easy to see how children could be unaware of their own legal status, and may even believe they are U.S. citizens even though they are not. As adults, everyone is expected to know their own legal status.

Consequences of Citizenship Falsification

There are consequences for those who falsify their citizenship status. Although it may be accidental, claiming to be a citizen when you are not can have serious repercussions. One of the most severe penalties includes losing residency and being ineligible for naturalization, preventing you from becoming a legal resident. In some cases, it could cause deportation, even for those who have not been living in their homeland for many years. If you are unsure of your legal status it is essential that you find out as soon as possible to prevent problems from occurring.

Take Care of Status Problems

For whatever reason it has happened, if you find that you are living in the United States without the legal right to dos o, you are at risk of legal action, including being deported. To determine your status, locate your birth certificate to determine your country of birth. Talk to your close relatives to find out whether they know your legal status. If you have questions, do not hesitate to speak with a qualified immigration attorney. Your attorney will help you review your status and assist in resolving issues so that you may ensure that you have a legal status. While it may be discouraging to find that you are not a legal citizen of the United States, it is better to know what your options are so that you can proceed with the choice that is best for you.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Why You Must Know Your Legal Status, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at  480.461.5330, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.