Guzman v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., No. 10-2243 (6th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, born in 1946 in Mexico to a U.S.-citizen mother and a Mexican national father, allegedly entered the U.S. in 1949. It is disputed whether the entry was legal. His mother remarried a U.S. citizen in 1960. Plaintiff alleges that he has lived in the U.S. continuously for 60 years, has been married to a U.S. citizen since 1967, and is the primary caretaker of his son, who has spinal meningitis and requires constant care. In 2003 plaintiff requested a Certificate of Citizenship based on his mother’s citizenship (8 U.S.C. 1401); he separately claimed citizenship through his stepfather. The Administrative Appeals Office denied both, ruling that plaintiff’s mother did not meet the physical presence requirement of law in effect at the time because she gave birth at age 16 and there was no evidence that his stepfather had adopted him. Plaintiff had not proven that he had been admitted as a lawful resident prior to age 18, as required to establish prima facie eligibility. The district court dismissed claims that the Nationality Act of 1940 violates the equal protection clause and that this interpretation of the Act creates an arbitrary and inequitable outcome. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, stating that the language of the statute is clear.