November 05, 2007

Misusing a Social Security Number may be a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude

On October, 25, 2007, in Hyder v. Keisler, the Fifth Circuit found that someone who obtains a social security number by fraud may have commited a “Crime Involving Moral Turpitude” (CIMT). If an individual has a CIMT, this often makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for the immigrant to become a lawful permanent resident, naturalize, or receive other immigration benefits.

In the case, Kashif Hyder came to the United States on a visitor’s visa while he was a minor. He overstayed his visitor’s visa and remained in the United States. At the age of 17, with Hyder’s knowledge, his family applied for him to get a social security number stating that Hyder was here on a student visa, which was untrue. If Hyder had been on a valid student visa, his presence in the United States would have been lawful. Hyder was issued a social security number in his name which he used to get a Texas Driver’s License and a Texas state identification card. He also continued to use the social security number, which was fraudulently obtained.

Hyder was put into removal proceedings, but applied for cancellation of removal. However, the court found that Hyder’s use of the social security number, obtained fraudulently, was a CIMT and, as such, Hyder did not meet the “good moral character” test which is required for those seeking cancellation of removal.

Click here to read the Fifth Circuit’s decision in Hyder v. Keisler.

By Michelle Richart