Could the Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, from Avengers Age of Ultron become a naturalized citizen of the United States?
The Hexing Case History
The Scarlet Witch is from the fictional Eastern European country of Sokovia. Wanda and her brother were orphaned after a missile made by Stark Enterprises killed their family. These events would have taken place long before the first Iron Man film and Stark’s putting a stop to Obadiah Stane’s supplying advanced weapons to terrorists.
Wanda and her brother Pietro Maximoff VOLUNTEERED for Baron Wolfgang von Strucker to experiment on them. Volunteering to become a super-powered weapon of HYDRA does not look good on an application for citizenship. Further lowering her success of becoming a US citizen would be admitting she volunteered for human medical experiments to get revenge on Tony Stark.
Scarlet Witch sided with Ultron out of a desire to harm Tony Stark. However, after finding out Ultron’s plan was to commit genocide on the human race, she turned on Ultron.
The Scarlet Witch could apply for a US Green Card based on her employment as an Avenger. Wanda would certainly qualify as an “alien of extraordinary ability” under question 1a of Form I-140.
The Application for Naturalization is Form N-400. Good Moral Character is a requirement to apply for citizenship, as stated in “Who Is Eligible for Naturalization?”. The US Code defines “good moral character” when the Attorney General finds there is not deportable conduct as “conclusive evidence of good moral character.” 8 USCS § 1427(d).
The document specifically states “terrorist acts” or “Any crime against a person with intent to harm” are examples of possible bad moral character. The Application specifically asks applicants if they have at “you at any time, anywhere, ever ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person because of race, religion, national origin, or political opinion?” INS Form N-400.
The Scarlet Witch’s involvement with HYDRA could seriously compromise her ability to become a US citizen. Gaining super powers from terrorists who attempted “purification” of people based on data analytics would be a red flag for an INS Agent. Being a member of a terrorist organization has been enough to prosecute someone for fraudulently applying for citizenship. United States v. Damrah (6th Cir. 2005) 412 F.3d 618, 621.
Ultron is a similar problem. Scarlet Witch might not have known Ultron’s goal was genocide of life on Earth, but she still wanted revenge on Tony Stark. It took the realization that Ultron was trying to destroy humanity for the Twins to switch sides to help the Avengers.
Helping save the world would be a huge mitigating factor for the Scarlet Witch’s application for citizenship. However, an immigration lawyer would have their work cut out for them in representing Wanda Maximoff.