Under US immigration laws, membership in a communist organization (or in an affiliate of such an organization or in an organization that advocates for communist policies) makes a person inadmissible for permanent residency or can pose a bar to naturalization. These general rules also apply to those who are or have been members of other totalitarian parties (or their affiliates). For a general discussion, see the USCIS information page here.
However, as a ground for inadmissibility and/or as a bar to naturalization, there must be significant proof of three things:
- That the Party or organization in question is/was, in fact, a Communist Party/organization or any other totalitarian party
- That the noncitizen applicant's connection to the organization was at the level of "membership" AND
- That the noncitizen applicant's membership was “meaningful”
A noncitizen applicant can offer many possible forms of evidence to defeat these three elements of proof. For example, attending scheduled meetings at a University where a person is employed might not "count" as being a member. "Membership" is usually determined by what the Party or organization requires for membership. For example, you might need to "sign up" and make monetary donations to be a "member." But, as noted, attending meetings might not "count" as membership.
In addition, there are two exceptions: involuntary membership and past membership. Involuntary membership exists under these conditions:
- You were made a member of the Party/organization without your consent (and, possibly, without your knowledge)
- You were made a member by operation of law
- You were a member solely when under 16 years of age
- You were a member for purposes of obtaining employment, food rations, or other essentials of living, and where membership was necessary for such purposes
If any of these exceptions are shown, then membership in a Communist Party (or another totalitarian party) will not be a grounds for inadmissibility or be a bar to naturalization.
For the past membership exception, these facts must be shown:
- Membership terminated at least two years before seeking immigration (or membership was terminated at least five years before applying for immigration if the applicant was a member of the Communist Party controlling the government of a foreign state) AND
- That the applicant is not a threat to the security of the United States
Contact Yekrangi & Associates Today
For more information, contact the Orange County Immigration Attorneys at Yekrangi & Associates today. We will fight for you. Yekrangi & Associates works to meet a higher standard. Our first goal is your satisfaction. Contact us at (949) 478-4963 to schedule a consultation or complete our convenient “Get Your Consultation” form here. We are located in Irvine, California.