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Florida man, 66, discovers he is not US citizen after voting and paying taxes for decades

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A Florida man, 66, was shocked to learn that he is not a US citizen after applying for Social Security payments. Jimmy Klass has lived in America since he was a baby. He even voted in several federal elections.

Florida man Jimmy Klass discovers he is not US citizen after voting and paying taxes for decades (GoFundMe)

Klass revealed that he was expecting a letter from the Social Security Administration in 2020 saying he could expect to begin raking in his benefits. However, he was told that his money was “frozen,” according to News 6 Click Orlando. “I got a notification that it was frozen because I hadn’t proven to them that I was here legally. That was their determination,” Klass said.

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Klass’s paternal grandparents lived in Germany, and his mother was a Canadian. However, he was sure about his US citizenship as his father was a natural-born American. Klass was brought to the US in the 1960s, when he was only 2.

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

‘They gave me my Medicare for over a year’

Klass revealed that he was even granted eligibility to join the Marine Corps several years ago. He was also accepted to become a police officer. Although both of these run very strict background checks on applicants, no discrepancies were ever found over his citizenship.

“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 is a registered voter with a Social Security card. He also has a valid driver’s licence. He eventually took a union job to support his family and “acted like a regular citizen,” having no reason to think he was not. “I mean, I was accepted everything: photo ID card, I voted here,” he said.

“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,” Klass added.

Klass revealed that he has voted in several elections. According to the FBI, this is a federal crime. “Nobody showed up at my door to arrest me yet,” Klass said jokingly. “But yeah, technically, if you vote, and you’re illegal — it’s federal charges.”

Klass said he will now have to go on the defence with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). He has shared several documents with the agency to prove that he has lived in the country as a full citizen for more than 60 years. In order to find a solution, the retiree even went to the Canadian consulate in Miami, but nothing has helped.

Jimmy Klass launches GoFundMe

Klass has been forced to use his savings to clear up the issue. “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?’”

The financial burden has forced Klass to return to work. He has set up a GoFundMe to ask for financial assistance so he could hire an attorney and a genealogist.

USCIS said that “due to privacy considerations,” they cannot discuss the matter. “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,” it said.

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