Can Illegal Immigrants File for Arizona Bankruptcy?
Reports estimate that there are somewhere between 7 and 20 million illegal immigrants in the United States. Many have come to the U.S. seeking work, and are often suffering financial hardships. Many would like to seek the relief that bankruptcy can provide. This leads many to ask: can an illegal immigrant file for bankruptcy, or is there a citizenship requirement?
There is no citizenship requirement in the bankruptcy code. To file, a person must reside in the United States or have a business here, or intend to return, but is not required to be a legal resident, or a citizen. Thus, you may have to establish that you have been in the United States for a certain period and intend to make it your home.
However, in order to file a bankruptcy petition, you need to have either a Social Security card or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. Thus, if you are illegal you must have paid federal income taxes in order to file with the Bankruptcy Court. It is tempting to use a false identification to file, but that may lead to a denial of bankruptcy relief, as well as the bringing of criminal charges.
If criminal charges are brought against you as an illegal alien, or as a lawful permanent resident, you may be removed from the United States. It is important to not commit any crimes during the course of your bankruptcy proceedings, because that will lead to immigration consequences. You must be upfront and honest about any property or money you have during the proceeding, and must not try to hide any assets. If you are an immigrant, legal or illegal, it is important to talk to an experienced and qualified attorney who can help you through the process without affecting your immigration status.
Stephen M. Trezza