Use of Polygraph in Immigration Cases

The Immigration Case
 Based on a true polygraph case


An ever increasing number of immigration cases are utilizing polygraph tests to determine the immigrant’s truthfulness about deportation issues.   This article is based on a resent polygraph examination.  I have not included and identifying information about the immigrant.  No one should infer or claim that this is about any pending case.  The following described polygraph case is about an immigrant who pled guilty to a drug charge and also lied to the sentencing judge under oath.  He told the judge he was a U.S. citizen.  Somehow U.S. Immigration Services found out about his guilty plea conviction and his perjured testimony. 

The immigrant claimed when confronted that he lied but was acting on advised from his attorney.  He made the false claim of U.S. Citizenship because he was directed to do so by counsel.  During the hearing the judge asked the emigrant directly if he was a U.S. citizen two times. Both times, the immigrant claim to be a citizen.

Then a few months ago immigration authorities came knocking at the immigrant’s door. The emigrant was incarcerated in a local jail without bail pending an investigation and possible deportation.  An interesting relevant polygraph issue for testing developed because of this case.  It was the opinion of the immigrant’s attorney that if his client was telling the truth about being instructed to lie in court, immigration Services’ decision on deportation might be effected.  The current defense attorney believed that if his client passed a polygraph, Immigration Services might look more favorable toward his client and the fact that he passed the polygraph would help to keep him from being deported.   

The first polygraph examination session with this emigrant didn’t go very well.   This examiner found the emigrant to be highly nervous and unable to sit still. After collecting three polygraph charts the test was discontinued.  No opinion could be obtained from the collected chart.   The following week this examiner again conducted another polygraph session with the immigrant.  During this second session the immigrant continued to claim that during his initial meeting with his counsel he had a discussion regarding his immigration status and that his attorney told him to lie to the court if asked about his immigration status.

During the second session with this examinee, the polygraph charts were collected without any notable anomalies on the immigrant’s polygraph charts, movements, deep breathing, etc. Upon evaluating the polygraph charts however I found indications of deception.  It is my opinion and belief that this immigrant was lying when he said that his attorney told him to lie in court.  I believe that he is making up the allegation against the attorney as a defense to avoid deportation. Based on the polygraph analysis, I do not believe that the immigrant was telling the truth on this relevant issue.  

In this particular case the emigrant was unfortunately lying but had he been telling the truth the U.S. Immigration Service and U.S. Attorney were willing to accept the polygraph results in support of the immigrant’s claims about what his defense attorney told him. It would have been interesting to see what a truthful polygraph result would have had is this case.