Marko's Battles with the U.S. Government
Our federal government is of the people, by the people, and for the people. As our “employees” it seems logical to expect caring, personal and professional service from our government. But this is not the case. Our government has morphed into an autonomous entity, unique and separate from We The People, who they are supposed to serve. This is tragic and unfortunately it is reality. The problem is of our own making. We MUST send qualified people to represent us and carry our fight to the battlefield. If we don’t, there will be no change. The following highlights some of my battles with different federal agencies.
Please note, that for brevity, a considerable amount of information and detail has been omitted. In each of the three cases identified, there is still on-going action and final resolution is still being sought.
Department of Homeland Security
United States Citizens and Immigration Service (USCIS)
In my opinion, USCIS is a broken, rogue government agency. They are self-funded and rely on application fees to pay their salaries and cover operating expenses. I believe that it is a basic conflict of interest and does not allow impartial processing and assistance if their motivation is to require many as possible applications be submitted.
While imbedded with the USAF as a contract civilian in an Arabic country in the Middle East, my wife and I adopted her two, blood-nephews, the sons of her deceased brother. We submitted I-600s to USCIS with a plethora of documentation. If processed and approved, IR-3 visas would be authorized, which means our sons would become U.S. Citizens upon arrival in the United States. USCIS returned the applications stating our sons held Passports from India, which was a signature to the Hague Convention, and therefore, the proper form was the I-800 and not the I-600 and asked us to change, which meant that in our specific case, the I-800 was not an option and therefore there would be no recourse. I explained to USCIS they were wrong for three reasons: (1) The adoptions were full and final prior to the 1 April 2008 deadline and therefore they were grandfathered, (2) My sons, regardless of the Indian passports, were under the legal jurisdiction of an Arabic country, which was not a signatory of the Hague convention and therefore the I-600 remained the proper form, and (3) the provisions of the Hague
Convention had specifications, which applied and exempted them from the Hague Convention customary rules. To reiterate, USCIS had erred for three separate reasons.
USCIS seemed to recognize they had erred but because my 3 ½ year commitment in the Middle East was completed, and because of the host country rules, I and my family had to leave the country. USCIs then recommended we get Visitor Visas for the boys from the U.S. Embassy and all would be straightened out after arrival in the United States. Even through the boys did not qualify, the U.S. Embassy issued the Visitor Visas based on humanitarian reasons (to prevent family separation) and because USCIS said they would correct-all after arrival in the U.S. After arrival in the United States I reported to USCIS with all the documentation. Three days later I was called in to meet with the USCIS Adjudicating Officer and all the documentation was returned and I was told NOTHING could be done because my sons had entered the United States on Visitor Visas – YES, I dutifully had complied with their direcion. This was a complete untruth, either intentionally or because of ignorance. The USCIS Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) clearly stated three corrective actions that were options. The first was (1) a letter of explanation; the second (2) was a note on the stamp in the passport; and the third (3) was a “virtual I-485”, which can be entered into their computer system, without the need to process a paper application or fee. Any of these three options were available, yet the Director of the USCIS Field Branch on Orlando was firmly, adamant that NO corrective actions were possible (a breach of integrity, in my opinion). There were many, many other errors and improprieties by USCIS, but the result was a stalemate. They suggested I submit an I-485 hardcopy application for each son, but I refused, stating they had made the mistake and they should correct them.
During this time I had gone to the Florida State court and received a court order adjudicating and recognizing the foreign adoption. The Florida State court order stated my sons had the full legal rights and privileges and any other child naturally born to my wife and I. It further stated that Florida State issue birth certificates showing the foreign birth with my wife and I as the parents.
The Florida State court order was the primary documentation used by the Department of Defense, which allowed my sons to be issued full, military dependent identification cards authorizing them full Department of Defense benefits authorized to military dependents. The Veteran’s Administration, another Federal agency, also used the Florida State Court order as the basis to issue some benefits authorized to the dependents of a military dependent with disabilities.
My sons should have entered the United States as Citizens, but instead, because of the USCIS mistakes, where identified as non-immigrant aliens who had overstayed their Visitor Visas. The consequence was that Social Security Numbers could not be issued and a range of authorized benefits were denied. It would seem logical that if two Federal Departments recognized the Florida State Court Order, then the Social Security Administration and USCIS would follow the precedent, but this was not the case.
I sought relief in Federal District Court based on the Florida State Court Order, as well as other reasons. USCIS was intent on keeping me out of court. I felt confident that if I could get into court in front of a jury, they would find in my favor. I was representing myself against the entire legal department of USCIS – they were successful. I then appealed to the Federal Circuit Court, the Court of Appeals, and they were again successful. I then submitted my case to the United States Supreme Court, but they did not accept the case. Please note that they only accept about 3% of the cases presented to them.
(1) The U.S. Constitution – Article IV, Section 2: The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.
(2) The U.S. Constitution – Amendment X: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Status: After six years, my sons have received Green Cards, but are still not citizens – please recall they should have become Citizens upon arrival in the United States six years ago. Because of comments made by USCIS in court papers, I submitted an N-600 request for Certificate of Citizenship based solely on the Florida State Court order. The applications were denied and not one word was mentioned about my sole justification, which was the Florida State Court Order. I then appealed with another application AGAIN stating the justification was the Florida State Court order and asked that this time they consider it. AGAIN it was denied without reference to the Florida State Court order. The net cost of application fees was $2,400. Now, I am again faced with the requirement to once again submit N-600 at another cost of $1,200. Please note, I have not addressed the applications fees for the I-130 and I-485 forms which were over $3,000, not to mention other related expenses.
After five years in public schools, my sons are still being denied benefits and opportunities because of their status……. All stemming from the USCIS mistakes which they deny and of course would therefore take to action to correct. The battle with USCIS will continue until my sons become Citizens of the United States, like my wife and I.
Please note that while there is a lot of political discussion on “immigration”, I have not heard one word about USCIS, which is the administrative Federal entity responsible for processing all immigration and citizenship issues.
Social Security Administration
Years ago I applied for Social Security Numbers and some authorized benefits for my sons. The SSA stated the request was approved but would not be implemented pending a change of their status in the U.S., which was a matter of USCIS action. There is a provision in the Social Security manual, which states that if an authorized benefit is available and the prospective recipient is qualified but does not have a SSN, this is a justification to issue a SSN. I requested this and was denied. Approximately three years ago I attempted to escalate the SSN issue with the SSA by requesting a review by the SSA Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Truly amazing -- that after three years, my opportunity to present my case to the SSA-ALJ is in their office, along with my complete file, awaiting a court date. It has now been about four months and I’m still waiting.
I have a disability rating from the Veterans Administration for in-service aliments. About one year ago I applied for an additional disability. I was scheduled for an appointment and had 25 minutes with a PhD VA doctor. I had extensive documentation with me and had previously been seen by the base clinic when I as serving the Middle East, which included many hours over 10 visits. The PhD doctor was filling out a form on her computer. I was not allowed to answer the questions in detail because the form had to be completed and she only had 25 minutes scheduled for me. My application was denied. Later I obtained a copy of my medical records. I noted the PhD doctor report was inaccurate (understatement). I also noted a major report by another doctor who I had never seen, yet it was in my records. There is no other way to state this – it was a fraudulent report – I never saw the other doctor. Later, in talking to a veteran’s affairs representative. I was told it was standard procedure to deny the request the first time it was submitted. Apparently if you were really serious, you would apply a second and third time. Since then I have seen a civilian expert, who through independent and throughal examination, confirmed the diagnosis that I had received when I was in the Middle East. I have yet to reapply. Again I ask myself, where is the integrity?
All the actions identified above has been conducted by me, personally, with no outside assistance. The relevance is the experience I have acquired, which gives me unique perspective, insight, and better qualifies me to deal with these and other Federal government offices and issues.
The actions above are de facto proof that I do more that talk about an issue. I am fully capable to taking personal action – action.
A basic issue identified above is my support of the United States Constitution and my personal experience that the Federal Government was taken action contrary to the principles and source authority identified in the Constitution.