13 Jun 2018 USCIS to start denaturalizing and deporting people who obtained citizenship by fraud
The USCIS announced it will start a task force of several dozen lawyers and immigration officers to start reviewing cases of immigrants who obtained U.S. citizenship through fraud, such as where they had been ordered deported, and later used fake identities to get green cards and citizenship. If fraud is discovered, the USCIS would seek to revoke their citizenship and have the person removed/deported.
In the past, some people obtained immigration benefits/green cards through fraud. For example, a person:
- may have been petitioned as single, but was actually secretly married. They nevertheless proceeded to get a green card and later U.S. citizenship.
- may have obtained a green card through employer sponsorship, but never worked for that employer. Again, they may have been able to later obtain citizenship.
- entered the U.S. under an assumed name, and obtained a green card under that assumed name. When filing for U.S. citizenship, they asked to have their name “changed” to their real name, and then may have started petitioning their family.
- may have been ordered deported/removed, and either never left the U.S. or snuck back in under a different identity. They then obtained a green card and citizenship under that assumed identity, without disclosing the previous deportation.
In the past, USCIS may have addressed these situations on a case to case basis, as they arose or came to USCIS’s attention, such as when the citizen later petitioned a family member, or filed for any other kind of immigration benefit.
Under this new policy, USCIS will be actively reviewing citizenship cases to determine if anyone obtained citizenship through fraud. And USCIS now has modern technology to assist them in that effort. For example, it has been reported that hundreds of thousands of old fingerprint records for people who had been deported or had criminal convictions had NOT been uploaded to their database to cross check immigrants’ identities when they apply for U.S. citizenship. Now, those fingerprints have been uploaded into their database. Therefore, when a person had been deported or convicted of a crime, they were finger printed. When they later apply for U.S. citizenship, even under an assumed identity, they are also fingerprinted. Now the USCIS will be better able to match the fingerprints and catch the person’s fraud.
The Trump administration is getting more and more tough and strict when it comes to immigration. In the past, denaturalization was extremely rare, and mostly used to denaturalize Nazis who lied about their war past. Now, USCIS will be going after other U.S. citizens who obtained citizenship through fraud.
If you are a green card holder, but there are issues concerning your eligibility (or the way in which you got your green card), you should definitely seek the advice of an attorney before filing for U.S. citizenship, to make sure it is safe and you are eligible to naturalize.
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