So if we are dealing with regional people, and even if you look at the State of Chihuahua, the vast majority of people I’m dealing with are from the northern part of Chihuahua.
Attorney Morales Has the Resources and Research Skills to Locate a Relative Who Was a US Citizen and Help Her Clients Inherit Citizenship
If you go back in time far enough, many people who live in the border land have a US ancestor. That is where the puzzle begins, because if you can flip every intervening ancestor between the one that’s a US citizen and the target – that’s what we call our clients – you can turn that person into a US citizen. It’s difficult. It’s immensely rewarding when we find it. It involves a lot of research and a lot of just detective work on some of these cases.
The Law That Was in Effect at the Time an Ancestor was a US Citizen Is a Factor in Inherited Citizenship
Interviewer: You are literally researching someone’s history to see if you can tie them back to one of their family members being a citizen?
Jeanne: Right, right. It’s genealogy on steroids. It’s not enough to know that there was an ancestor that was a US citizen. Then you have to compare each intervening ancestor. If we’re talking about your great grandfather, so that’s person’s child, and then that person’s child, and then that person’s child, which is your father, at each tie, each date of birth for each one of those individuals, we have to look at the law that was in effect at the time, and see if at the time that ancestor did inherit from its predecessor. If the answer is yes, then we move on to the next generation.
I have uncovered about three or four generations. The record is held by; I believe is a big-time attorney, who uncovered seven generations of a Canadian to prove he was a US citizen. That’s fascinating work.
Interviewer: When you research the genealogy, are you only seeking someone in their lineage that was a US citizen? Does that mean that they’re a US citizen because they’ve inherited it?
Tracing Ancestors to Uncover Inherited Citizenship Is a Generation by Generation Analysis
Jeanne: No, each case is different and the analysis has to go generation by generation. You start with the one who we have proof positive that that person’s a US citizen. For example, we may be able to locate a birth certificate.
Then we look at the next descendant down. On that person’s date of birth, we look at the law in effect at that time. Then we have to analyze, did that person inherit from their parent? If the answer is yes, then we look at their child and see.
Congress keeps changing the law. The law changed in ’34. It changed in ’41. It changed in ’56. It changed in ’86. It also matters if it’s coming from your maternal side or if it’s coming from your paternal side. It also matters if your parents were married or not married at the time you were born. There are all these variables that go in the mix. We call it recovering your citizenship and recovering your heritage and it is life changing for people.
In Attorney Morales’ Practice, Recovering Your Citizenship Is a Viable Outcome
Interviewer: That’s great. How often are you able to do this for clients?
Jeanne: We do this all the time.
Interviewer: Is it pretty rare or it is much more common than one would think?
Jeanne: No, we do this all the time. Some clients they just don’t know that they’re a US citizen. They come to me and they say, “Well, we want to try and do this,” and I am able to say, “Well, what about this person?” Sometimes, these are situations with an individual who is a permanent resident and they want to put in for their children.
Many Individuals Who Have Permanent Resident Status Also Are Actually US Citizens
In those cases, I usually say, “Well, how did you get your permanent resident?” They may tell me that their father obtained their permanent resident status. When I then ask, “Well, how did your dad get you a permanent resident card?” They tell me he was born in Texas. Their family is unaware at that point that the child is actually a US citizen. This person’s lived all their life as a permanent resident. They didn’t know they were a US citizen.