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    Florida man stunned to learn he’s not a US citizen after voting, paying taxes for over 60 years: ‘I acted like a regular citizen’

    By Richard Pollina,

    2024-05-16

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2FMbjb_0t4L2C2500

    A 66-year-old Florida man gearing up for retirement was stunned to discover he’s not a US citizen when applying for Social Security payments, despite having lived in America since he was a toddler and voting in numerous federal elections for the last six decades.

    Jimmy Klass said he was expecting to receive a letter from the Social Security Administration in 2020 telling him when he could expect to start raking in his well-earned benefits after decades of work, but instead was informed his money was “frozen,” News 6 Click Orlando reported .

    “I got a notification that it was frozen because I hadn’t proven to them that I was here legally. That was their determination,” he explained.

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=05bTBI_0t4L2C2500
    For over 60 years, Jimmy Klass believed he was a United States citizen until he applied for Social Security in 2020. ABC Action News

    Klass’ mother was a Canadian, and his paternal grandparents hailed from Germany.

    But what always reassured him that he was a US citizen was that his father was a natural-born American.

    Klass, who was brought to the US when he was 2 years old in the 1960s, for decades figured that he had been granted citizenship through his father.

    “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,” Klass told the outlet, referencing a line from the theme song of the ’60s TV classic “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

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    “We moved to Tennessee Avenue in Long Island, to be more specific. And we moved into the house next to my grandparents.”

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3Cfsoj_0t4L2C2500
    Klass has multiple forms of ID that led him to believe his whole life that he was a US citizen. ABC Action News

    Klass also explained that years ago he was granted eligibility to join the Marine Corps and even accepted to become a police officer — both of which run vigorous background checks on applicants — but no discrepancies over his citizenship arose.

    “I was accepted, but I never took the jobs because I was newly married, had a kid on the way, just bought a house…,” he said.

    Klass, who’s a registered voter with a Social Security card and valid driver’s license, instead took a union job to support his family and “acted like a regular citizen” since he had no reason to think otherwise.

    “I mean, I was accepted everything: photo ID card, I voted here,” he said.

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=15B4NU_0t4L2C2500
    Klass was even given a Social Security card, only further leading him to believe he was a US citizen. ABC Action News

    “Never, ever, ever came about where I was here illegally, even though Social Security says I didn’t prove it to them. They gave me my Medicare for over a year and a half.”

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    The 66-year-old even shared that he’s voted in multiple elections, which is a federal crime, according to the FBI .

    “Nobody showed up at my door to arrest me yet,” Klass joked. “But yeah, technically, if you vote, and you’re illegal — it’s federal charges.”

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1i50tI_0t4L2C2500
    Klass said he was expecting to receive a letter from the Social Security Administration in 2020 telling him when he could start raking in his well-earned benefits after decades of work, but instead was informed his money was “frozen.” ABC Action News

    Klass has now been left with no choice but to go on the defense with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to fix the problem — sending the agency multiple documents proving he’s been living in the US for over 60 years as a full citizen.

    “I’ve sent all that stuff to USCIS and they still denied me,” Klass said.

    He’s even visited the Canadian Consulate in Miami in hopes that it would help clarify things — but to no avail.

    Even worse, the retiree has been using his savings to try to clear up the issue.

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    “I’ve been spending thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars to try to get my money that I paid into Social Security my entire life,” he said.

    “I even said to them, ‘Well, if you’re not gonna pay me monthly, give me everything that I paid with interest, and we’ll call it a day’ and they go, ‘Oh, we can’t do that, either.’ I said, ‘Well, what can you do?’”

    Klass said he had been forced to return to work due to the financial burden.

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1ey7eC_0t4L2C2500
    Klass, who was brought to the US when he was 2 years old in the 1960s, for decades figured that he had been granted citizenship through his father. ABC Action News

    He’s even launched a GoFundMe to raise money to hire an attorney and a genealogist — a person who traces or studies lines of family descent — to fight the USCIS on giving him his Social Security benefits.

    A child born abroad automatically becomes a US citizen if at least one parent is an American citizen, the child is under 18, a lawful permanent resident, and residing in the US under the legal and physical custody of the US citizen parent, according to the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 .

    Unfortunately for Klass, this law was not in effect when he moved to America as a 2-year-old.

    USCIS said in a statement to News 6 Click Orlando that it is unable to discuss the matter “due to privacy considerations.”

    “As a matter of practice, and due to privacy considerations, USCIS does not comment on individual immigration cases, and the agency does not share, confirm, or deny immigration information about specific individuals. We adjudicate each application on a case-by-case basis to determine if it meets all standards required under the law. Applicants receive a written decision in the mail, which fully explains our action and lists any appeal rights.”

    For top headlines, breaking news and more, visit nypost.com.

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