Living With Illegal Alien Results in Clearance Denial
In a recent Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals case a longtime government contractor had his clearance reinstatement request denied because he was living with his Mexican-born girlfriend who was in the U.S. illegally. I know you are asking yourself right now “what’s the big deal here?” There is a little bit more to this particular case. He has been living with her for ten years now, during a part of which he was in a cleared status. He reported his association with her to his FSO five years ago, but it is unclear what action, if any was taken then. Another aggravating factor was that since entering the U.S. she has not attempted obtaining legal permanent residence status. And to top it off, the applicant has not indicated any desire to marry her, which would help her gain U.S. citizenship, which might have helped mitigate the issue.
The judge concluded that under Guideline B: Foreign Influence, the applicant’s continued cohabitation with someone who is in the U.S. illegally (in violation of immigration law) poses a heightened risk of coercion even though he himself has not broken the law, and thus it was not in the best interests of national security to grant him a clearance. The judge also opined that the applicant’s judgement was in question because he continues to associate with someone who is involved in a criminal activity with no efforts at changing the long-running situation. Considering the current political climate on this issue, this decision is not really that surprising.