Can an illegal immigrant get citizenship?

How would someone go about doing that? A Mexican who works in my store recently got his passport. He said that he waited on some really long line in Manhattan to get it. Do they give out passports to illegal aliens, and would a passport make you a citizen?

Insufficient data - we need Eva Luna in here.

You’re sure he didn’t just wait in line at the consulate to get a Mexican passport ?

The normal requirement is 5 years of legal residence in the US (3 if you’re married to a US citizen), a “good character”, a language/history/civics test and an imperial buttload of paperwork. Waiting in really long lines seems to be an integral part of the process.

A passport is the international documentation of one’s nationality. US passports are only issued to US citizens.

That is all the data I got. He just waited in line and then said he got a passport. Is this possible?

In this post-9/11 day and age?

I seriously doubt he obtained a legal US Passport by such means.

I you are a Cuban Illegal Immigrant (currently called “migrants” by the heavily slanted South Florida media) you get Legal Residency in one year after you arrive “feet dry” (not intercepted at sea, but make it to land). Thereafter it is the normal wait for Citizenship.

After illegally entering the country. Without displaying a need for asylum. Carte Blanche.

No you don’t - I think you already nailed it. But I may be wrong; I haven’t finished my coffee yet.

First of all, just because the guy is Mexican doesn’t mean he is here illegally.

Even if he’s here illegally, he can certainly go get a Mexican passport.

Another thing to keep in mind is that right now, Mexican consulates are going crazy trying to keep up with the demand for the matricula consular (consular identification card). It’s not a passport - Mexicans are not required to have a passport to enter the U.S., just as U.S. citizens are not required to have a U.S. passport to enter Mexico. But it is proof of the bearer’s identity and nationality.

Here in Illinois, there’s been a huge debate about whether banks, etc. should be able to accept these documents in lieu of a Social Security card for the purpose of opening accounts. The immigration restricctionists say no, on the theory that it will make life easier for people here illegally. The immigrants’ rights folks say yes, on the theory that there is no harm to it and it will make life easier for a sector of society curently forced to pay exhorbitant rates and jump through all sorts of hoops to conduct basic daily transactions.

And another thing I’ve learned in my career is that a 2-sentence explanation like your OP is rarely the whole story. We need more info to tell you what’s going on here.

Eva Luna, Immigration Paralegal

What I really want to know is the tittle of the thread. Can someone who came into this country illegally become a legal citizen?

I asked the question because the Mexican who worked in my store disappeared. I asked if maybe immigration picked him up, but my boss told me he was legal. I asked how is that possible since he was illegal when he started to work here. My boss replied that he got a passport from waiting in some long line and did not clarify on the subject any more than that.

So I’m wondering if they just give out passports somewhere. Though the question remains: is anyway for someone who came here illegally to become a citizen?

There have been several amnestys for illegal immigrants in the past, which allowed many of them to become naturalized. There isn’t anything like that going on right now, though.

There is no instantaneous way for a person who came here illegally to get U.S. citizenship. He/she has to be a permanent resident for at least 3 years first, and more commonly 5 years, as mentioned above - perhaps the "line"your boss was mentioning is a figurative line, i.e. the quota backlog for close relatives of citizens and permanent residents.

The short answer? People who initially entered the U.S. illegally, or who entered legally and then overstayed their authorized period of admission, become citizens all the time, but they don’t go straight from Point A to Point B. There are a bunch of different ways to do it, and circumstances vary greatly. Can’t speculate much beyond that without knowing more specifics.

Maybe your boss lied about him being legal, and made up the “waiting in line” part when he realized you knew he wasn’t?