You need to immediately seek to consult with and hopefully hire a competent immigration
Lawyer in your area. Your problem is much too complex to be solved in a general forum such as this.
Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.
You should consider yourself fortunate not to have been placed in removal proceedings. I can think of no good argument why the officer was incorrect in finding that your I-90 was approved in error. It seems clear that your parents abandoned their U.S. residency in 1987 and since you were a minor, their intent is attributed to you. You should start looking for a way to apply for permanent residency since it is quite possible that your card will not be renewed in 2015 for exactly this reason.
The government appears to be correct .. you abandoned your residence in the US in 1987.
Consider hiring a private detective to find more information on mother's residence in the US. Passport applications ... etc. may help.
PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.
It would appear that you abandoned your residence in when you departed in 1987 and did not return until 2004. It is unclear from your facts, however, whether you were admitted in 2004 using your visitor's visa or as a returning resident. Likewise, if you considered yourself to be a resident why did you apply for a visitor's visa? The two are mutually inconsistent.
While we don't know all the facts in detail, this case would very well turn on how you were admitted to the United States when you returned in 2004. If you were admitted as a resident, then the abandonment issue would not be relevant because the decision is made by CBP, not USCIS. The applicable regulations provide that you can apply for naturalization after accruing 4 years and 1 day of continuous residence after having broken the continuity of your residence by being outside the U.S. for more than 1 year.
Naturalization, while seeming simple on its face, is one of the most complicated facets of immigration law You need to consult with an immigration attorney who has experience litiigating naturalization cases. The attorney needs to review the denial of your application for naturalization and administration appeal in conjunction with learning the full and complete facts of your case. Only then can a determination be made as to whether you can become an American Citizen.
While this answer is provided by a Florida Bar Certified Expert in Immigration and Nationality Law, it is for general information purposes only and an attorney/client relationship is neither intended nor created. You should seek out qualified counsel to review your case and provide you with advice specific to your situation. Call +1-561-478-5353 to schedule a consultation with Mr. Devore.