It’s amazing how so few words can inform...if one has the knowledge to understand. In this case it is fascinating, but simple story of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the maker of the infamous Mohammed video.
And here are the real interesting facts:
by Serge Kovaleski and Brook Barnes,
NYT November 25, 2012
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula grew up in Egypt but came to the United States and wed Ingrid N. Rodriguez in 1986 in Nevada, according to state marriage records. They divorced in 1990, the records show. Soon afterward, while living in California, he married an Egyptian woman, Olivia Ibrahim, with whom he has three children. Although the couple divorced, the family members all lived together on a cul-de-sac in Cerritos until going into hiding after the video spread.
So, for those without inside knowledge, here is the back story:
Nakoula came to the United States somehow. Probably on a tourist visa in 1986. He found a woman, a Hispanic woman, perhaps a white Hispanic woman, to marry him. Four years later they divorced. That is important, in that had they divorced sooner, Nakoula might have been deported. Marriages between an alien and a U.S. citizen are scrutinized approximately two years after the marriage. Presumably at this time, Nakoula was granted conditional permanent residency, then required at the end of two years to appear before the late unlamented Immigration and Naturalization Service to prove he was still in a valid marriage.
Now Nakoula probably had some good advice and waited approximately two more years to divorce. It is most likely that there never was a valid marriage in the first place. Ingrid Rodriguez was most likely paid to marry Nakoula or Nakoula entered into the marriage with the intent of divorcing her at the first opportunity. Not unheard of in immigration law enforcement. Many Arab terrorists currently at large in the United States originally came here in the late 80s and early 90s by the marriage track, using both strategies.
Nakoula quickly remarried. Presumably to the current ex-wife he is cohabitating with. There is a good chance that if marriage records in Egypt were closely examined one might find a marriage certificate documenting a marriage to the second wife that predates the "American" marriage. That is actually quite another common tactic in immigration law. Divorce first real wife, find an American second wife, then divorce second wife and marry first wife again. A well-worn tactic—from Filipino immigrants especially.
But the key to know why Nakoula was not previously deported is that between 1990 and his first arrest he naturalized. Once that occurs, one cannot be deported for any reason, unless the person is denaturalized for some act that predates the naturalization. So, since the fraudulent marriage was not uncovered and his first conviction for a crime was not most likely until after he naturalized, he is here forever, unless an enterprising ICE SVU Visa Fraud Officer in the American Embassy in Cairo finds that first marriage certificate or Ingrid Rodriguez confesses.
But it’s of interest that the Paper of Record ignored the immigration fraud angle, which is quite well known in the immigrant community, but did give readers with inside knowledge just enough information to put together the pieces.