Harassment and abusive behavior during the citizenship interview

CA-person

Registered Users (C)
#1
Yesterday I had citizenship interview in California based on 5 years of GC.
(I got green card thru my husband who got his GC thru employment.)
The first thing he told me was to turn the cell phone off.
Ireplied saying I do not have cell phone with me.
He raised the voice and again he told me to turn cell phone off.
The Interviewing Officer was very abusive.
In the interview, he did not ask much on English or Geography.
All he asked was - What is the capital of US?
During the interview, he told that he feels sorry everytime he comes to this building
in a very condescending manner. He raised his voice for no need.
He did not ask for any documents.
He ticked the box - which says USCIS will send us notification and also he ticked the pass on English / Geography.
While handing over, he said something.
I did not understand what he told and requested him to say that again.
He just told good bye angrily.

Once the interview was over, I was almost in tears and came back to the waiting room
where my husband was waiting. We were talking about the interview. He came out for next candidate and
told me to go home from 50 feet distance. All this happened in 3 - 4 minutes after the interview.

---------------------

I felt very bad and upset. I was never treated like this before in this country.
I would not have minded at all if he had asked me more on Geography/English or for
more documents and showed if I was wrong in something - either poor in Geography/English
or lacking some documents. All he did during the interview was practical scolding.
He behaved as if I had old enmity with him.
I never expected this kind of treatment from an Interviewing Officer in USCIS building.

I appreciate your time reading all the above.
Can you please suggest me what I can do to redress this?
Have anyone of you had similar experiences and if so how you dealt them.
Should I file a complaint to USCIS or do something through an attorney?
Thanks much in advance for your time and suggestions.
 

nkm-oct23

Registered Users (C)
#3
Call USCIS and complain. See below:

Report USCIS Employee Misconduct

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) employees are expected to practice high ethical standards while delivering customer service to you.

Our number one priority is to perform our duties with a deep commitment to maintaining the trust that you have placed in us to administer the nation’s immigration laws fairly, honestly and correctly.

Anyone with knowledge or suspicion of criminal violations, misconduct, wasteful activities or allegations of civil rights or civil liberties abuse by a USCIS employee should report specific information to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General. Such a report should include the:

* Date, time and location of the incident
* Specific nature of the alleged misconduct
* Name(s) of employee(s) involved

You can make a report by any of the following methods: ·

* Toll-free DHS Hotline at 1-800-323-8603
* By fax at (202) 254-4292
* Via e-mail to dhsoighotline@dhs.gov
* By mail to the following address:

Department of Homeland Security
Attn: Office of the Inspector General
245 Murray Drive, Building 410 Stop: 2600
Washington, D.C. 20528
 

Bobsmyth

Volunteer Moderator
#4
Don't mind the IO or take it personally. Some IOs have no customer service skills whatsoever and play mind games to intimidate the applicant. He was probably ex-military or ex-cop..they are notorious for bad customer service.
By all means, file a complaint with the USCIS and with the DO's supervisor. Did you get the IO's full name? It should be on interview results letter.
 

GungaDin

Registered Users (C)
#5
Which checkbox was checked on the N-652? Decision cannot be made, or recommended for approval?

If it was recommended for approval, then go have a drink of water(or something stronger) and try to forget this incident. If you still feel like complaining, wait until after your Oath. You don't want your file called away due to an internal administrative review process.

Either way, you may want to write everything down while it is still fresh in your mind. (also, Civics test - not Geography test)

My Citizenship 'interview' was more like an Interrogation and I too was a bit surprised as my GC interview was quite relaxed and cordial.
 

Mufuruki2

Registered Users (C)
#6
Which checkbox was checked on the N-652? Decision cannot be made, or recommended for approval?

If it was recommended for approval, then go have a drink of water(or something stronger) and try to forget this incident. If you still feel like complaining, wait until after your Oath. You don't want your file called away due to an internal administrative review process.

Either way, you may want to write everything down while it is still fresh in your mind. (also, Civics test - not Geography test)

My Citizenship 'interview' was more like an Interrogation and I too was a bit surprised as my GC interview was quite relaxed and cordial.
I abolutely agree with you. Let OP reserve her energy for more useful things, as long as she has got what took her to the DO. An arrogant adult cannot be changed by mere complaints.
 

ganjik

Registered Users (C)
#8
I am sorry. But I didnt exactly understand what the harassment or abuse was about?
Did he shout on you? "Raising voice" is a broad term. Perhaps he didnt quite understand what you were saying. For example, I talk pretty fast some people have troubles to understand me. So if they ask me something -> I answer -> they dont understand -> they ask again and might raise their voice thinking this would help me to understand them.
He might be not pleasant and didnt smile as people do here or relate to you, but I dont see any abuse or harassment here. To me it looks like you a bit overly sensitive.
 

sanjoseaug20

Registered Users (C)
#9
To the OP: I think your bigger problem is whether you got approved than the officer's attitude. You indicated IO checking some box on the paper rather than saying you got approved. This indicates (but is not 100%) that the chances of rejecting your case are high. You should think through (however painful) whatever happened in that room, and separate that into two parts:
A) Place where your case was questioned ... he did not see any documents, but did he make some comments about your case?
B) Place where you felt harassed

I agree partly with ganjik ... but not fully. The officer might have been overtly aggressive, but it is possible you also construed more than what transpired because of the pressure you went through.

Separate the drama / abuse from the case and start working on each aspect. Once they deny you (if they do), you have 30 days to appeal, and it takes a fairly good time to collate / present data.

Any questions you want to ask here to start preparing ... do so. Or confirm that he checked the RECOMMENDED FOR APPROVAL box rather than decision can not be made.
 

DreamUSA

Registered Users (C)
#10
I agree ....if you got an approval....do not do anything until the completion of oath. Yes, it is disappointing but it is life, sometime the result matters most. Again, we take your words at face value, we do not know all dynamics that wents thru during interview.

After oath, you could file a complaint about this employer behaviour, it will be a good public service for the other OPs who may face the same person.
 

Bobsmyth

Volunteer Moderator
#11
To me it looks like you a bit overly sensitive.
When you have a person of authority who is making a decision on your immigration case and is rude by making comments that he feels sorry every time someone comes to the building and has a condescending attitude during interview how does that make the OP overly sensitive?
 

sanjoseaug20

Registered Users (C)
#12
When you have a person of authority who is making a decision on your immigration case and is rude by making comments that he feels sorry every time someone comes to the building and has a condescending attitude during interview how does that make the OP overly sensitive?
I will give the benefit of the doubt to the OP.

However, while reviewing the merits of the case, we should first forget the demeanor and focus on the more important issues. Also, I would like to know when the IO made this statement - if this was made 5 minutes within the interview - it is one thing, if it was made 25 minutes into the interview - it is another thing. Yes, the IO if frustrated should not vent it out and act professional ... but I am just saying that sometimes people react.

I would like to hear more comprehensive narration of facts before hanging the IO ... although there are lot of pointers, I still say it is not beyond a shadow of doubt.
 

Bobsmyth

Volunteer Moderator
#13
.. I still say it is not beyond a shadow of doubt.
The fact is that applicants are paying customers and that IOs are there to serve them. Any person serving a paying customer should do so with professionalism and respect. An IO making improper comments and having a condescending attitude is unprofessional and such behavior should be brought to the attention of USCIS. An IO venting out of frustration does not justify their unprofessional behavior.
 

sanjoseaug20

Registered Users (C)
#14
The fact is that applicants are paying customers and that IOs are there to serve them. Any person serving a paying customer should do so with professionalism and respect. An IO making improper comments and having a condescending attitude is unprofessional and such behavior should be brought to the attention of USCIS. An IO venting out of frustration does not justify their unprofessional behavior.
I can not dispute any part of what you have said.

However, based on the information I have till now, and based SOLELY on that, I would not write this complaint YET if I was OP's lawyer.
 

DreamUSA

Registered Users (C)
#15
Don't mind the IO or take it personally. Some IOs have no customer service skills whatsoever and play mind games to intimidate the applicant. He was probably ex-military or ex-cop..they are notorious for bad customer service.
By all means, file a complaint with the USCIS and with the DO's supervisor. Did you get the IO's full name? It should be on interview results letter.
What is your basis to suggest that ex-cup and ex-military would do that ? Many current and former officers of both military and law enforcements who risks their lives to serve and protect this country, adhere the highest professional standards. Just because someone served military or law enforcement does not mean that he/she will be aggressive and show an usual behavior.
 

Triple Citizen

Registered Users (C)
#17
CA-Person,
If you are recommended for approval, consider the interview incident similar to being flipped off while driving. At times I have gotten the finger from other motorists. I just ignore them and move on. I advise the same here. Hopefully you will get your oath date real soon.
 

JPBoston

Registered Users (C)
#18
In the end, this IO certainly came across as an unprofessional jerk and OP is probably best not filing any complaint until after the oath ceremony. I know I would do that if I was in her position. While none of us who weren't there are in a position to judge the IO's actions/words, I would give the benefit of the doubt to the OP because even if only one thing of everything she stated was true, that was one unprofessional thing too many against the stated goals of the DHS.
 
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ganjik

Registered Users (C)
#19
Bobsmyth you might be right, but you might be wrong as well. Nobody knows what he exactly meant by this sentence and whether it was accurately cited by OP and what exact context was. As for me I just would not understand what he meant.
By the way compare your citation
"he feels sorry every time someone comes to the building "

with OPs one
"he told that he feels sorry everytime he comes to this building"

I already can see the difference :) Now I wonder what was the actually original sentence made by IO?

As for OPs variant - there can be so many reasons he might've said it. Maybe building is in such bad shape and needs reairs or overcrowded with long lines of OPS. Or maybe he had some bad memories (he met his ex-wife in it and then she damped him and ran away with another WOman :) ). Or maybe he just doesnt like his shitty and low paid IO job. So many other different explanations that have nothing to do with OP.

As for condescending manner - this is sooo subjective.

I bet lady was a bit under the pressure and "no immediate approval" makes her blame IO.

P.S. "shitty" from IO perspective ....


When you have a person of authority who is making a decision on your immigration case and is rude by making comments that he feels sorry every time someone comes to the building and has a condescending attitude during interview how does that make the OP overly sensitive?
 
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JPBoston

Registered Users (C)
#20
As for condescending manner - this is sooo subjective.

I bet lady was a bit under the pressure and "no immediate approval" makes her blame IO.
Now you are beginning to take liberties judging this woman and why she posted her experiences. Now assuming everything she said is true, what part of the following do you really see as a subjective interpretation and not rude or condescending in how they happened?

1. IO telling her again to turn off her cell phone when she already told him that she did not have one?
2. IO not answering her question when she asked him to repeat what he had said that she did not understand?
3. IO telling her to go home after the interview in the presence of her husband (and others in the waiting area)?

And as for Bobsmyth mis-paraphrasing what the OP stated, how does that reflect doubt on what OP stated originally and did not contradict at any point? Seriously people, when did we all become expert character psychologists and interpret things beyond what was stated?
 
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