My mother has been a Permanent Resident since 1997 and is now applying for naturalization. However, she originally entered the US illegally in 1989. The N-400 asks whether you've ever entered illegally. Can this affect her application? She has never been arrested for anything.
No. Many people who entered illegally prior to 1997 are now US citizens. As long as she did not make any material false representations in her previous applications and there are no issues that will render her ineligible, she can go ahead and apply for naturalization.
No, she will not have an issue. When your mother was granted lawful permanent resident status, all grounds of inadmissibility were removed, as long as she made no misrepresentations.
So, if your mother revealed to USCIS that she entered undocumented at the time she applied for her green card, she has no problems with that issue. However, if your mother failed to inform USCIS that she entered undocumented prior to getting her green card, then she will have a serious problem.
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