United States

Man Discovers He's Not A Legal Citizen After Decades Of Living And Paying Taxes In US

Jimmy Klass, a 66-year-old Florida resident preparing for retirement, was shocked to discover he wasn't a US citizen when applying for Social Security benefits. Despite living in America since childhood and voting in federal elections for over six decades, bureaucratic hurdles have left him unable to access his benefits.

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Jimmy Klass Photo: X
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A 66-year-old Florida resident, Jimmy Klass, preparing for retirement, was taken aback when he found out he wasn't considered a US citizen while applying for Social Security benefits. Despite spending the majority of his life in America and actively participating in federal elections for over six decades, Klass received a notification from the Social Security Administration in 2020 stating that his benefits were frozen due to his failure to prove his legal presence in the country.

Klass, who migrated to the US from Canada at the age of two, always believed he held citizenship through his American father. Recalling his upbringing, he shared, "My dad’s roots were in Brooklyn, New York… And two years into my existence, they decided to load up the truck and move to Beverly, so to speak," referencing the classic TV show "The Beverly Hillbillies."

Klass also revealed that he has never encountered issues with his citizenship status in the past. He was also once eligible for military and law enforcement positions.

And, even after possessing a Social Security card, a valid driver's license, and a voting record, Klass has been unable to convince the authorities of his citizenship.

Frustrated by the incident, Klass has taken the matter to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), providing extensive documentation spanning over six decades of residency in the US. However, his efforts have been met with denial, leaving him in financial distress as he dips into his savings and is forced to return to work to make ends meet.

Seeking assistance, Klass has launched a GoFundMe campaign to finance legal representation and genealogical research to prove his citizenship status. According to the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, children born abroad automatically acquire US citizenship if certain conditions are met, but unfortunately for Klass, this law wasn't in effect when he migrated.

Despite repeated attempts to resolve the issue, Klass remains entangled in bureaucratic red tape, with USCIS declining to comment on individual cases. The agency stated, "As a matter of practice, and due to privacy considerations, USCIS does not comment on individual immigration cases… We adjudicate each application on a case-by-case basis."

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